Hello

Welcome to the main forum. When you are ready to start a conversation, register and once your application is processed a guide will come to talk to you.
This is one-on-one style forum, one thread per green member.
User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Hello

Postby Erik1 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:50 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand that my Ego or Personality is a construct built by a lifetime of indoctrination. Teachers, friends, parents, television, religion...all went into building up who this supposed "I" is.

What are you looking for at LU?
A companion/boost to my Dzogchen practice I started recently. I know conceptually that there is no self, but still don't feel that I've really understood. For some this is a fine distinction, but to me it is the difference between a lightning bug and actual lightning.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to receive something similar to what Dzogchen refers to a Pointing Out instructions, or perhaps something like a zen koan; either way, something that will act like a needle to pop that ego/personality balloon.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have practiced martial arts since 1992, and so have been exposed to various ways of meditating, qigong, Eastern philosophy. I recently reading "Waking Up" by Sam Harris, then started investigating Dzogchen, and I recently started meditating with Dzogchen instructions.

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

User avatar
Aragon
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Aragon » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:47 pm

Hello there,

My name is Aragon, and I am happy to assist you in exploring the idea of the separate self....

This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate. Realising that the seeming independent finite separate self is illusory is not an intellectual understanding although it may be formulated in intellectual terms. Rather it is an experiential knowingness that is intimately your own and cannot be shaken or taken away.

At LU we are described as guides and not teachers as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises, questions and some dialogue.

Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings about the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been and with this realisation a shift in perception happens.

You can’t just sit and ponder what we are exploring, you must apply the ideas to your life; see them in action…actually do the work (practical application) every day, day in and day out.

Here are links to information I would like you to read before we begin.

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

Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

https://www.liberationunleashed.com/na ... f=4&t=660

Please confirm that you have read the disclaimer and the other links and we can then begin the exploration.

Also,

How would you like me to address you?

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Erik1 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:36 pm

Hi! I have read the links and am ready. You can address me as Erik.

User avatar
Aragon
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Aragon » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:37 am

Hi Erik,

Thanks for your reply. Very pleased to be working with you :)

I appreciate your reading the links, including the disclaimer; and learning how to use the quote function.

Just so that we are clear, to have the realisation that there is no separate self, you must be 100% committed to seeing it. It can’t be a nice idea, an intellectual curiosity. You have got to pursue this as if you have no other choice.

Please check in and see if that is how committed you actually are.

......................................

From your initial post I would just like to make the following clear:

When you say:

"I know conceptually that there is no self, but still don't feel that I've really understood."

This indicates that you believe this is something you need to understand.

However, the guiding is not about getting clearer understanding but to have an actual perceptual shift.

You will likely know when this happens, but it is not something that is of the mind, and not something that can be imagined beforehand.

Also....

Please put aside you dzogchen practice while being guided (as mentioned in the guidelines below).

Without placing any judgement of dzogchen practice, you will likely find that putting it to one side will enable you to see more clearly and not add any confusion or unclarity to what you are looking at during this process.

Does that sound okay to you?

......................................

Some additional housekeeping guidelines:-

1. Unless exercises given need several days to be accomplished; post at least 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. If you wish to post every day, that too is okay!

2. Please answer what's true for you once you have looked to see what is being pointed at, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Ideal answers may sound good but will be of no benefit to you in having you realise that there is no separate self. There is no one judging answers given, so please be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts. 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, 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. Be here with an open and curious mind.

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 you time in the long run!

......................................

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration ie what life will look like; what life will feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change etc. Could you please answer the 4 following questions in your own words:-

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.

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Erik1 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:42 pm

Hello Aragon,
Does that sound okay to you?
Yes, instructions understood and agreed to.
How will life change?
I don't think that it will. Life goes on, work, etc.
How will you change?
I will be rid of...well I don't know. I started to write that I'd be rid of a useless mental construct, but then I started thinking about it more deeply and I don't know what I'll be rid of. I suppose all I can say is that my perception will likely change.
What will be different?
Probably only the perception. But the actual perception, not just the intellectual.
What is missing?
Could you elaborate? I don't understand what you're getting at.

Thanks!

Erik

User avatar
Aragon
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Aragon » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 am

Hi Erik,

Thanks for your replies.

Just so you know, I will probably reply once a day - usually around this time :)

What is missing?
Could you elaborate? I don't understand what you're getting at.

This question is about what is missing in terms of peace, freedom, wholeness, purpose.

In other words:

What is not present in your experience right now such that you so not experience peace/freedom/wholeness etc....?

What will be different?
Probably only the perception. But the actual perception, not just the intellectual.

Can you elaborate on this please? What exactly do you mean here?

Are you expecting what is appearing as form to change because your perception changes?

Or what?

What do you mean by 'actual perception and not just the intellectual'?

And how does actual perception change look and feel like exactly?


Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Erik1 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:44 pm

What is not present in your experience right now such that you so not experience peace/freedom/wholeness etc....?
I don't get the feeling that anything is missing. I experience peace, especially since starting the dzogchen meditations. I think the practice of not judging experience has been the key to that small measure of success.
Can you elaborate on this please? What exactly do you mean here?
Actual vs. intellectual perception. Seems funny, now that you've questioned it. I mean that the intellectualizing something is a part of the constructed personality, whereas "actual" perception is simply your brain arranging the information it gets from your senses. Hope that makes sense.
Are you expecting what is appearing as form to change because your perception changes?
Not unless you put something in my drink...go ahead, I'll look the other way.
Or what?

What do you mean by 'actual perception and not just the intellectual'?
I think I covered that; if not, let me know.
And how does actual perception change look and feel like exactly?
Interesting. Technically perception doesn't change. Barring illness or injury the senses perceive. I assign perception by judging it, embellishing it. So then am "I" just a series of built-upon embellishments?

Thanks!

Erik

User avatar
Aragon
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Aragon » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:01 am

Hi Erik,

Can you elaborate on this please? What exactly do you mean here?
Actual vs. intellectual perception. Seems funny, now that you've questioned it. I mean that the intellectualizing something is a part of the constructed personality, whereas "actual" perception is simply your brain arranging the information it gets from your senses. Hope that makes sense.

There is nothing wrong with intellectually knowing something. And intellectual understanding is helpful in knowing what an aha experience is about. With this exploration, thinking is the wrong tool.

Shifting from thinking to looking can be frustrating and require some practice. Leave expectations about how life/you will be to the side. Expectations are thoughts about how things can be in an imagined future.

This exploration is about noticing what can be found in your immediate actual experience - noticing what's going on here now and not what thoughts are postulating is here now.

And how does actual perception change look and feel like exactly?
Interesting. Technically perception doesn't change. Barring illness or injury the senses perceive. I assign perception by judging it, embellishing it. So then am "I" just a series of built-upon embellishments?

Perception changes as beliefs are seen through. The world of form doesn’t change, but how it is perceived…how it is interpreted, does change. As we move through this exploration you will see how the "I" is seemingly formed.

So let’s start with the key components of having the realisation that there is no finite separate self. LOOKING and actual experience (AE)

LOOKING is just plain looking at what is here right now, in every moment. Actual experience (AE) is image/colour, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value.

The term ‘actual experience’ (AE) is used to refer to experience ‘right now,’ without the thought stories. So, LOOKING’ is just plain looking at actual experience (AE) in the current moment.

It is no different to looking for your car keys in a drawer when you think you have misplaced them. You sift through the drawer looking at what you find, discarding anything that is not your car keys.

In this investigation, instead of looking for car keys, you are looking at you actual experience - the raw experience MINUS the labels and thoughts ABOUT the raw experience.

The key to this exploration is the careful LOOKING. Why? Because it’s the act of actually LOOKING and not finding an “I” that brings about the realisation of there being no finite separate self.

So we are going to learn what actual experience is and what LOOKING entails.

I would like you to sit somewhere quiet and become aware of sounds. Close your eyes and just listen to the sounds for a few minutes. Really hear them.

Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? And make sure that the sound is something you will hear again, for the next phase of this exercise.

I look forward to hearing what you find.

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Erik1 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:49 pm

Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? And make sure that the sound is something you will hear again, for the next phase of this exercise.
The sound made by my neighbor's roosters. No problem hearing it again; they don't sleep.

User avatar
Aragon
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Aragon » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:58 am

Hi Erik,

Okay, great!

As I wrote in the previous post, actual experience (AE) is simply the raw experience of colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation and the face value of thought.

With this in mind...I would like you to repeat the exercise and answering from your direct actual experience (AE) only (and not from thinking), tell me...

- How is it known that the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
- What is it that says the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
- What is the actual experience (AE) of 'the sound of a rooster'?


I look forward to hearing what you find.

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Erik1 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:11 am

- How is it known that the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
We created language to communicate. We named the animal rooster for convenience. It makes an easily identifiable sound. Just another construct.
- What is it that says the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
Convenience for the sake of communication.
- What is the actual experience (AE) of 'the sound of a rooster'?
Just hearing it.

Thanks!

Erik

User avatar
Aragon
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Aragon » Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:41 am

Hi Erik,

Thanks for your answers.

The thing is that all your answers are written from what you think rather than from your actual experience.

Answering this way is like trying to describe the taste of an apple from what you know about it. No matter how much knowledge you have about an apple, the actual experience of tasting the apple can never be known from that knowledge.

In the same way when you approach these questions, you need to sit with what is actually happening and LOOK.

SEE the mechanism at work, rather than what you think is happening. How (for example) is it known that the sound heard is ’the sound of a rooster’ - from looking at your experience.

This can be a frustrating process but it is crucial to shift to looking from actual experience. Otherwise you are not really looking at all.

Please re-read what has been said about Actual Experience in the post above, and then answer these questions again from looking (from actual experience).

- How is it known that the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
- What is it that says the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
- What is the actual experience (AE) of 'the sound of a rooster'?


Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Erik1 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:18 pm

This can be a frustrating process
Not at all.
- How is it known that the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
Thought labels is as such.
- What is it that says the sound is 'the sound of a rooster'?
Again, that thought-labeling.
- What is the actual experience (AE) of 'the sound of a rooster'?
It is just a sound.

Thanks!

Erik

User avatar
Aragon
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Aragon » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:26 am

Hi Erik,

Thank you for your answers and your clear looking :)

The interpretation of actual experience happens quickly. So while inquiring, labelling and interpretation will always appear, but it is possible to become aware of the thoughts that appear with, and overlay actual experience. Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience

The following exercise points to what I mean.

For this exercise you will need an apple or any other piece of fruit will do.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure is the actual experience of colour and the actual experience of thought.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?

Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is only just more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, colour, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.

This is what is meant by ‘looking in actual experience - what you know for sure and is always here.

The label ‘apple’ is known
Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour labelled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labelled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labelled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known

However, is an apple actually known?

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

User avatar
Erik1
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 pm

Re: Hello

Postby Erik1 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:24 pm

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Only color and thought about 'apple'. That's all that the direct looking shows. As to there 'really' being and 'apple' there, reminds me of the "Spoon Bending" scene from "The Matrix". All I know is that a thing is perceived, and that thing must be labelled 'apple' in order to 'be apple'. HA!

Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
No. 'Apple' is just as much a label as 'good' or 'inane'.
However, is an apple actually known?
Intelectually it can be labelled an apple. In AE, the answer seems to be no.

Thanks!

Erik


Return to “THE GATE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests