Looking for Truth

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Helen7
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Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Tue May 19, 2020 11:35 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
My understanding is that the self is a mental construct created by our conditioning from an early age. When we identify with the self we hold on to thoughts and feelings instead of allowing them to come and go. We identify with it so much that it feels real and this creates suffering.

What are you looking for at LU?
I would like help to see through the illusion of a separate self so that I can be in the flow of life without any effort. I want to stop seeking/searching and start living a life of Presence without continuously getting caught up in my mind.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to be challenged so that I can start seeing differently and let go of beliefs that are stopping me from seeing through the illusion of a separate self. A guide will also be able to understand and support me as he or she will have been through the process themselves.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I read Gateless Gatecrashers about 3 years ago and although there was a subtle shift in my perception I probably wasn’t ready to accept that there is no self. I have recently started reading it again as well as Ilona’s blog and watching her videos. The illusion of a separate self seems obvious now but I can’t seem to stop identifying with I and me. My main influence for the last 20 years has been Eckhart Tolle, I resonate with his teachings but struggle to put them into practice. I have been meditating for about 10 years initially using mindfulness techniques then mantra meditation. For the last couple of years I usually just rest in stillness and observe my thoughts. I have also recently started to use contemplative inquiry.

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

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue May 19, 2020 1:11 pm

Hiya Helen,

Thank you for the intro. If you'd like we could explore this together, see what shows up. :)

Just let me know and we can set off.

With best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Helen7
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Tue May 19, 2020 3:40 pm

Thank you John, that would be great. I really appreciate your help.
Best wishes
Helen

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue May 19, 2020 4:27 pm

Hi Helen,

Thank you John, that would be great. I really appreciate your help.
Best wishes
Helen

Ok, great! :)

First of all, let me say that we won't be looking at the 'illusion of a separate self', nor letting go of beliefs, nor accepting that there is no self. We can set all those frames aside.

Here and now, how do you know you're Helen?

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Helen7
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Wed May 20, 2020 9:54 am

Good morning John
Here and now, how do you know you're Helen?
I know I'm Helen from memory and early conditioning so if I lost all my memory I wouldn't know I was Helen. It is probably more accurate to say I know that I'm called Helen even though it usually feels like I am Helen.

Best wishes
Helen

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Wed May 20, 2020 11:08 am

Hi Helen,

I know I'm Helen from memory and early conditioning so if I lost all my memory I wouldn't know I was Helen. It is probably more accurate to say I know that I'm called Helen even though it usually feels like I am Helen.

Ok, here and now, notice the feeling called 'feels like I am Helen'.

Hold the space for this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.

What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Helen7
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Thu May 21, 2020 10:45 am

Ok, here and now, notice the feeling called 'feels like I am Helen'.

Hold the space for this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.

What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?

Thank you John, this was an interesting and surprising experience. In the here and now, I can't seem to pinpoint the feeling called 'feels like I am Helen'. I can only relate to it from memory, as a thought about a feeling, rather than a direct experience of a feeling. When I am being still in the present moment I have an awareness of Presence which feels real but I know it isn't Helen although I do find myself getting confused with language and calling this awareness my real Self which isn't helpful. Hope this makes sense!

Best wishes
Helen

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Thu May 21, 2020 11:01 am

Thank you John, this was an interesting and surprising experience. In the here and now, I can't seem to pinpoint the feeling called 'feels like I am Helen'. I can only relate to it from memory, as a thought about a feeling, rather than a direct experience of a feeling. When I am being still in the present moment I have an awareness of Presence which feels real but I know it isn't Helen although I do find myself getting confused with language and calling this awareness my real Self which isn't helpful. Hope this makes sense!

Ok, so there's the presence, which feels so real it gets the moniker 'my real Self', perhaps because that's what it feels like - and then Helen which is more a recourse to memory.

What question would you most like to ask yourself with respect to this?

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Helen7
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Thu May 21, 2020 9:56 pm

Hi John
Ok, so there's the presence, which feels so real it gets the moniker 'my real Self', perhaps because that's what it feels like - and then Helen which is more a recourse to memory.
I had an experience recently when I was walking in woods, trying to experience the sights and sounds without thinking about them. There was a brief awareness of watching ‘Helen’ making a great deal of effort and then from nowhere without any effort there was a powerful and intense feeling of love and compassion for ‘Helen’. It didn't last long and left me feeling a bit confused. Afterwards when I was reflecting on the memory of my experience I started thinking was that my true self? It's as though there's a habitual need to label everything (experiences, thoughts, emotions, sensations) as me, my, mine, I etc. It doesn’t seem to happen when I’m in the present moment but I often have a busy mind and get caught up in my thoughts and emotions, that’s when I identify most as me/Helen.
What question would you most like to ask yourself with respect to this?
Why do I keep labelling experiences, thoughts, emotions, sensations as me, I, mine etc. even though I know that me/I is an illusion and what can I do about it?

Thanks,
Helen

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri May 22, 2020 1:31 am

I had an experience recently when I was walking in woods, trying to experience the sights and sounds without thinking about them. There was a brief awareness of watching ‘Helen’ making a great deal of effort and then from nowhere without any effort there was a powerful and intense feeling of love and compassion for ‘Helen’. It didn't last long and left me feeling a bit confused. Afterwards when I was reflecting on the memory of my experience I started thinking was that my true self?

This is you, being; no name, no pack drill, just you being naturally you.

Being you, rather than identified as Helen, it's natural to feel this love and compassion, because you see that the Helen persona was well-intentioned, and you did your best playing Helen, probably so that everyone else was ok. It's common also to feel a deep melancholy too, for what you as 'Helen' went through - all part of our healing, unfolding.

The more we feel our being, the more we see the game of 'John' or 'Helen' which doesn't mean we reject it or want to banish it, but only to see it clearly, and so to unfold it, integrate it into our being. Because yes, it was a construct, but it's our construct, our game, our expression. It just took on a 'life' of its own that's all.

It's as though there's a habitual need to label everything (experiences, thoughts, emotions, sensations) as me, my, mine, I etc. It doesn’t seem to happen when I’m in the present moment but I often have a busy mind and get caught up in my thoughts and emotions, that’s when I identify most as me/Helen.

As mentioned above, it's more a case of seeing thing a little more clearly - then this labelling drops away.

Helen, have a long ponder on this, checking in with your own experience, and share what shows up.

With warmest wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Helen7
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Fri May 22, 2020 10:11 pm

Hi John
This is you, being; no name, no pack drill, just you being naturally you.
Yes it feels right for being to have no name, it just is.
Being you, rather than identified as Helen, it's natural to feel this love and compassion, because you see that the Helen persona was well-intentioned, and you did your best playing Helen, probably so that everyone else was ok. It's common also to feel a deep melancholy too, for what you as 'Helen' went through - all part of our healing, unfolding.
Thank you John this has really helped me, I was puzzled as to why there would be so much love and compassion for the Helen which isn't real.
The more we feel our being, the more we see the game of 'John' or 'Helen' which doesn't mean we reject it or want to banish it, but only to see it clearly, and so to unfold it, integrate it into our being. Because yes, it was a construct, but it's our construct, our game, our expression. It just took on a 'life' of its own that's all.
This makes sense as I have been seeing through the game of ‘Helen’ more since I have been focusing on resting in stillness and becoming more aware of being.

I really appreciate your help John, I feel as though I am gradually sorting through the confusion. I am still pondering and will add more tomorrow!

With best wishes
Helen

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri May 22, 2020 10:59 pm

Cool - thanks Helen, look forward to it.
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Helen7
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Sat May 23, 2020 10:02 pm

Hi John

When I first read Gateless Gatecrashers about 3 years ago there was a lot of resistance. It left me feeling empty and a bit depressed and I didn’t want to look any more. Since then I have experienced that empty feeling a number of times and at first I avoided it and distracted myself by keeping busy. More recently I have practised being with the feeling of emptiness and it just dissolved. Last week I was feeling frustrated because I felt like I had no control in my life due to the lockdown but then I realised that I have never been in control, even when I thought I was in control, as life has just been happening all the time. This left me with that empty feeling again and when I sat with it I had an insight that it was something to do with the absence of self/ego so I decided to join the LU forum. I feel as though the resistance has gone or almost gone and I am now able to accept that there isn’t an 'I' controlling everything. It doesn’t feel depressing at all now, more of a relief. However I keep reverting to the habitual thinking of an I/me which makes me feel confused and it often feels like a pull between being and ego (Helen persona) though I am beginning to see the game of ‘Helen’ more and more. I have also noticed that I feel more friendly towards the commentary in my mind and able to hold it more lightly especially over the last couple of days, it’s as though my thoughts don’t hold as much power now.
The more we feel our being, the more we see the game of 'John' or 'Helen' which doesn't mean we reject it or want to banish it, but only to see it clearly, and so to unfold it, integrate it into our being.
I would like to know more about this please. Does this unfolding and integrating happen naturally once it is seen clearly?

Thank you for your guidance John, it is definitely helping!
With much love
Helen

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat May 23, 2020 11:01 pm

Hiya Helen,
When I first read Gateless Gatecrashers about 3 years ago there was a lot of resistance. It left me feeling empty and a bit depressed and I didn’t want to look any more. Since then I have experienced that empty feeling a number of times and at first I avoided it and distracted myself by keeping busy. More recently I have practised being with the feeling of emptiness and it just dissolved. Last week I was feeling frustrated because I felt like I had no control in my life due to the lockdown but then I realised that I have never been in control, even when I thought I was in control, as life has just been happening all the time. This left me with that empty feeling again and when I sat with it I had an insight that it was something to do with the absence of self/ego so I decided to join the LU forum. I feel as though the resistance has gone or almost gone and I am now able to accept that there isn’t an 'I' controlling everything.
There's no need to accept or not accept, either would be creating a mindset. For example, you get the no-self no-control mindset, very popular in spiritual circles.

Our inquiry is only with 'Helen', or 'I' or 'me', all the same. And you have inquired into this, so we continue.

Even before we wonder about control, in seeing the nature of 'Helen', then we can see whether control could ever be a capacity of such a form.

It doesn’t feel depressing at all now, more of a relief. However I keep reverting to the habitual thinking of an I/me which makes me feel confused and it often feels like a pull between being and ego (Helen persona) though I am beginning to see the game of ‘Helen’ more and more. I have also noticed that I feel more friendly towards the commentary in my mind and able to hold it more lightly especially over the last couple of days, it’s as though my thoughts don’t hold as much power now.

Good that you're regarding commentary more lightly, indicates that the identifying as 'Helen' as the 'speaker' is falling away.

The more we feel our being, the more we see the game of 'John' or 'Helen' which doesn't mean we reject it or want to banish it, but only to see it clearly, and so to unfold it, integrate it into our being.
I would like to know more about this please. Does this unfolding and integrating happen naturally once it is seen clearly?

It's like anything to you anew, the new perspective integrates into what was there, in so doing it may transform quite a lot, so it's not additive but transformative.

For example, seeing that 'Helen' is not the author of internal commentary is quite a new take on what's happening - and the ripples will go out, over the hours and days. And one day, it's the new normal - and then the process starts again.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Helen7
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Re: Looking for Truth

Postby Helen7 » Sun May 24, 2020 10:38 pm

Hi John

I've been feeling a bit emotional today, frustration and moments of joy, not sure why but I've been pondering on the pull felt between being and the Helen persona and the intense love and compassion I felt for the Helen persona from being.

The more we feel our being, the more we see the game of 'John' or 'Helen' which doesn't mean we reject it or want to banish it, but only to see it clearly, and so to unfold it, integrate it into our being.
I can't explain why but this really resonates, it's making me feel tearful in a good way like a kind of release.

Much love
Helen


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