Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If "I" don't exist, what is left? This is the part I really love. It doesn't matter!:)


This is Part 2. Part 1 is here: 

Hi Elena,
Good to hear from you!  Sorry about not replying sooner, how did 5 days rush by so fast?  Thank you for asking some fun questions.


As funny as it sounds (it still sounds really funny over here), I mustconclude that I do not exist and I never existed.
  
The reason I must conclude that is precisely because I cannot be found in any shape or form in this experienced reality.  Furthermore, I cannot find anybody to dispute this statement with any meaningful evidence.  The only thing that is found, in looking longer and deeper for the Me that is promised by thought, is the absence of "I" wherever the search is directed.  


 So what does this mean?  


That "I" never existed is not to say that nothing exists, nor is it to say that Greg doesn't exist.  What it is saying is that Greg as perceived by the thinking mind does not exist.  That Greg is only imaginary, a fabrication of mind that is no more real than the details of amemory.  True, conditions that give rise to a memory are real, but the contentof the memory is not.  In the same way, the content of the mental image, thepromise of Greg is not real.  Because the content of that mental image of Greg was promised to be real and to exist, and that content is now known to beillusory, it can be said that Greg does not exist.  The promise was empty. 


"I" is an idea in the head, a mental concept, and that is all.  So "I" onlyexists in so far as the idea exists.  To carry on from here represents too much opportunity to over-think the question and thinking is what created the illusion of "I" in the first place.


These are some questions that have already come from others.  If "I" don'texist, what is left?  This is the part I really love.  It doesn't matter. Arguing the deeper implications would just be a mental exercise rife with opportunity for the illusion of self to continue.  "I" is unreal so what'safter "I" a is waste of energy.  Indeed, the need for "after I" is just more"I".  Where does "I" go?  Perhaps "POOF" is a good answer.  The opportunity in every moment is to exist in that moment, not separate from it in any way. What could be more important than that?


Ok, historical ramble mode on here.  The Buddha characterized four stages of enlightenment.  Penetrating the illusion of self was one of the factors of the first stage, along with lack of need for rites and rituals, and the eradication of doubt.  However, it was said that total liberation is still not achieved due to the persistence of the most subtle forms of self conceit.  I think I remember one form of that conceit being the desire to live or die,something like that.  


As someone who hit the first mark, I intend to keep practicing as before by observing non-self both directly and indirectly.  If there is a point here, it's that the self conditioning began further back than accessible memory recalls.  Since old memories are triggered out of the blue by certain conditions the resemble those at their origin, it follows that echoes of self may be deeply buried until such time as conditions support are lapse.  If they do arise, then a new awareness will be present to meet them.  
How cool!
Sending love and respect,Greg

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What this mind had been looking for was a better "I"


Thanks for your posts and blog particularly. What I realized apart from there is no "I" is that what this mind had been looking for was a better "I"...it seems all mental activity was presenting this separation that's not really here. No "I" but still life seeing itself through points of awareness labled as "I"?
*
Elena
August 27
o

oh, yes, that is very common! Can you also rephrase the last sentence and make it simple, so I see where you are! Hugs.
*
Mark
August 28
o

Elana, first off I saw from your post that you're in NYC and hope you are doing well in the storm. I live in Louisiana and understand first hand about Hurricanes. They can be quite devastating.

You asked me to rephrase my last statement which is very kind of you to care. I was raised in the south as a christian and have had no one to discusss this with. In fact, having gradually dropped so many beliefs, I find it best to keep my mouth shut around family and friends.

Anyway, that's not what you asked. I guess what I was pondering is that if there is no "I" but only awareness becoming aware of itself, it must have many points of view as it wakes up in people. Or am I way off base.

Again, I am totally new at this with no non-dualist background whatsoever, in fact quite the opposite. I was taught, God then all "His" creations are separate. Anyway as to where I am, I've been asking the questions "Who or what am I", and "What is this I" for quite some time now to the exclusion of any other practice. It seems to cut right to the quick. So when I ask that question, I can't find a me...which took me quite some little time that I wasn't doing it wrong and that in fact there is no "me" there. It finally occurred that the "I" is just a thought and thought and emotions are not me. I'd read all that of course but it finally struck home.

What happened yesterday as I was reading your wonderful blog, is that even though I can't find a me there is still something inside that is like a familiar energy, almost a subtle grasping, clamping down...a wanting that's just below the surface. It's not really an emotion or thought but like a thin film or movement that feels like it needs to do something. When I brought it to the forefront and really looked at it...it sort of disappeared and there was peace. Actually, awareness just seemed to brighten or clarify. Watching this energy as it comes and goes, it seems like it is at the root of what I've always thought of as me. That in a nutshell is where "I" am. Not sure what to say or do, if anything other than to watch. Thanks for listening.
*
Elena
August 28
o

Mark, great what you wrote! So there is a thin grasping you say, even though, you already investigated that you are not your thoughts or emotions. And I loved you went ahead and looked at that grasping - and it's dissolved. I would say, as long as there is form - there will be various grasping - thought is a grasping in the mind, emotion is free flow of awareness/consciousness, call it whatever, unless there is a thought present, then some grasping going on. So investigate that - when you feel grasping - look up if any thought there, besides flow of feeling. Let me know, OK?
*
Elena
August 29
Elena
o

so, Mark, what's cooking? Let's keep this going until you done. Write to me once a day so I see where you are, and point if needed. thanks!
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Mark
August 29
o

Wow, thanks Elena, didn't want to bother you too much in case you were dumped on by the hurricane.

I wasn't sure what you meant about emotions being free flow of awareness/consciousness until I really looked and saw that what I was doing was ascribing a meaning to these emotions. Example, anger always seems like clamping down, but as I got to looking, a feeling would come up: I'd call it anger and resist it, which is clamping down, then it seems to go to the mind and up pops the "Me" feeling. Separation.

What I've been doing as I go through the day when a feeling such as annoyance comes up is saying: Who is it that is annoyed? Immediately that familiar "Me" grasping would show itself and almost immediately fade away. There would only be awareness. I've continued in the same vein by inquiring: Who is it that is seeing this? Who is it that is smelling, feeling, tasting etc. I must admit fear pops up sometimes. Feelings like "I" need to take over and do something. I've been inquiring: Who is it that is afraid? and Who needs to do something? There seems to be a lot of emptiness then big waves of anxiety sneak back in and take over. Then it's back to "Who is it that is anxious" all over again. I keep attaching a story to it but then see very quickly there is no one here. Any pointers would be very appreciated. Thank you!
*
Elena
August 29
o

Really good pointer here. You are doing great. BUT change your questions. You can ask those questions later, and I will explain why. But for now ask the following. I will ask you, you look and ask yourself and write to me, ok?


Is there you in any shape of form in the reality?

DO you exist?

Do you ever existed?

What is "I", self?

There are the questions to ask now...

So if you are on FB right now. Look and tell me

if there you in any shape or form in the reality?
*
Elena
August 29
o

the reason I don't want you to ask right now open ended questions like "Who is doing this?" "Who is afraid" Because it does imply that there is Who, and it is very subtle grasping on anything that will fit that WHO at the moment. To really see, we need to drop the Who or What completely. We will see that YOU is just a label. No you. But you need to see that. Not with open ended questions, but by vigilant looking into the experience. here and now. Do life need an entry called "me", "I" or there is no entity at all - just life, and "I" is just a label to some part of the experience. When you see the truth, then you can play with open ended questions.

If the fear comes - just look what's behind that feeling, ok. Right behind that fear.
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Mark
August 29
o

Thank you Elena, this mind is blank after seeing your post and letting it flow into awareness. No, there is no "Me" There is only watching, stillness...clarity, focus...expansion....flow. There is only "ing" as in verb...no thing. Watching this flow. Thank you. Will write back later as it goes on.
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Elena
August 30
o

THat is great, Mark. Seeing, real seeing is happening.

Look, do not analyze, answer this:

You say there is no you....Was there any you before?
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Mark
August 30
o

only that sense of familiar wanting or grasping in this chest. Can't find a me before now. When thought came up it attached to that grasping or vise versa not sure. Thank you.
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Mark
August 30
o

Okay, there is a seeing, sensing, openness...it even sees grasping but is not grasped itself...takes no ownership and is not affected by activities. As this comes into awareness or shows itself to be this awareness...background, space...any grasping drops...there is no grasper and nothing to grasp to. It's almost like there is a stopping yet the world continues to unfold. Also seems like the next thing to happen would be totally expected but at the same time a total surprise and awesome. No fear only anticipation...actually it's like that moment just after you take a bite of something but before you actually taste it...it's sort of a wonder. Not sure if this is making any sense but there is no avoidence...
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Elena
August 30
o

do you exist?
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Mark
August 30
o

There is still energy around the idea that there is a "ME" but it's porous like Swiss cheese or a sponge but in a word...no. There is no me. Peace. But then the grasping comes and says what is the next step?
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Elena
August 30
o

WHat is this "me" I am asking you about?
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Mark
August 30
o

But there isn't one...only awareness of goings on. Seeing, thoughts, sounds.
o

Where did it go?

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Elena
August 30
o

ever been you?
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Mark
August 30
o

If there's not a "me" now, there never has been. Apparently only thinking there was and identity around that thought. This heart is beating very fast.
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Elena
August 30
o

Welcome home, Mark!
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Mark
August 30
o

Blessings to you my friend!!!
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Elena
August 30
o

I love you. How does it feel not to be contracted into the Mark?
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Mark
August 30
o

Lightness, openness, like life is this awareness that is flowing.


Right now there is only peace, and this gentle buzzing feeling in this chest...will keep you posted. Many many thanks!
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Mark
August 31
o

Can't thank you enough Elena for taking me over the finish line...which ironically was the starting line as I see there was no where really to go. Bliss is a word that I thought over used and cliche...I see now with the limits of language it is the best I can do. Another thing is to be able to freely use the word "I" as a language construct that doesn't mean there's a "me". Looking back, I have been on this search for at least 15 years, but here I am, which is nowhere, yet everywhere. Grasping gone. Perfect stillness, freedom. That buzzing in my chest has radiated to my whole body and for the first time, my stomach is relaxed and expectant instead of knotted and anxious...I'll keep you posted. Many many thanks!
*
Elena
August 31
o

Mark, this is awesome. So what was that self that bonded all that tension together?
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Mark
August 31
o

Hmmmm...conditioning maybe? At some point this body mind was told this is "you". You are good, bad, smart, dumb etc. Perhaps the mind co-opted this information as an "I, me, mine" and started this separation business...this "Me" separate from the world. It is amazing to look into this blissful nothingness and find there never was a me.
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

1 + 1 = HOLY SHIT: Before "I", nothing is missing. Only "I" makes it missing!

Hi Elena,

My name is Greg. My friend Shane Wilson recommended I talk to you, and I do have a question about my practice that is ripe for help and guidance. 

I hope you don't mind spending a some time on this with me. I'll give a brief overview of where I'm at, but I just wanted to make sure you are open to it in the first place.
Thank you,
Greg

Hi, Greg. Yes. Perfect timing. Please write anything you want me to know.

Hi Elena, thanks so much for volunteering your time to this! The last couple weeks have been very interesting indeed. On the night of Friday the 26th of August, Dominic,whom I think (hope) you have spoken to, gave a talk in which he announced that he no longer has a self. During the course of that talk, I witnessed a swing between deep skepticism to
sweet, promising confidence. Skepticism because nothing that was said was foreign here, yet I had not knowingly shed my self. Promising confidence because the allure of "if Dominic is free and I've had the same experiences,
then I might be free." After all others had left, Dominic and I spoke for several more hours. He asked me questions such as, "what is the 'I'" and "who is Greg". Although I had my own abstract understanding of answers for those
questions, I did not have any formulated for an actual face to face inquiry. It seemed so ridiculous to be faced with such a question. Internally it was something like, "What is Greg? There is no Greg, come on that's obvious! Why
do I have to put this in words?" I did formulate some answers using words like illusion, veil, and even "misconception that hijacks experience". It was all quite unexpected. I can remember a time gone by that my answer would have been
much different. What had changed and when had it changed?

The days that followed that night were full of unsettling confusion, contemplation and uncompromising investigation. Now the confusion has been burned away. Please feel free to contradict the conclusions that are offered. Even the most harsh assessment of delusion is welcome. There is no Greg to get upset, only a process of mental and physical phenomena that this mind once
attributed to a self. And yet, there is still the behavior as if there is a Greg! This is where the confusion took hold. What had been shed and what was still there? Now, it is understood that the belief that "there is a Greg, a
persistent core that is at the heart of all experience here" is gone, probably for the remainder of life. However, all of the structure the supported that belief for ~33 years, the habitual behaviors, the deeply memorized patterns of
action, even the unspoken compulsive self-centric thoughts, persist. Prior to Tuesday the 30th, that distinction was not understood, and so the direction for practice was somewhat wayward. Now, the distinction is clear and it seems that there is a defined direction to progress. The "I" that is the reflection of a lifetime of "I" must be undone.

So begins this slow, steady practice of unconditioning the behavior of "I". Is this correct? Is there a faster or more direct way? Or a better, less confrontational way? As far as I can tell, each time a conditioned behavior that once supported "I" arises, all that can be done is to recognize it for what it is, make mental note that there is no "I" so the behavior is outmoded, and wait for the next one to arise. Sometimes it happens that thoughts arise without "I" as the center, whereas before "I" was always the center. For
instance, the words might effortlessly arise as "there is hunger" instead of "I am hungry". Other times, it's "I am hungry" followed by "what? What I?" Still other times it's more like, "I'm hungry" and then … hell, just be lazy.
I'm prepared to progress in this way, yet it seems somewhat tedious.

Open to anything you are willing to offer. Many thanks!


Elena: Why do you meditate?


Greg: I meditate to bring some "not doing" awareness into this life.

Elena: So you and life are separate? You need to do something to bring something to life that already is?

Greg: Not at all, not sure where you get that. How can I and life be separate?The very idea is preposterous. There isn't a single shred of evidence that there is an "I" to be separate. Furthermore, true separation in this universe is impossible, it is only illusory separation that people invent.

Elena: This is just intellectual talk

Greg: If the mind has its way all the time, active and unbridled, then it is spoiled just as isa child that gets everything it wants.

Elena: And you think you are changing something here? There is no you.


Greg: Cause and effect. Whether there is I or not is irrelevant.

Elena: There is no cause and effect

Greg: There are many great benefits to
meditation, some known here by experience, others by passage of information. Nevertheless, right now it all seems to boil down to just opening some space for pure awareness.

Elena: What? There is ONLY pure awareness. No opening is necessary. Look deeper. Anything is outside the pure awareness? Anything? Anything at all? What? Mind? Conditioning? Shit? Anything is outside?

No any more opening needed.

Need to just see that what you want to open already is. No you.

Greg: It's true that it cannot be shown that there is anything outside awareness. Yet that does not prove that ALL there is is awareness. How do you jump to that conclusion? Looking deeper indeed.

Elena: I am not proving to you anything. 
You need to see it for yourself.

Answer me this: 
How does it feel to be liberated?

Greg: Who is liberated? I (please overlook the convention of speech) know only how it feels to no longer believe in an "I".All feelings are exactly as they were when there was belief in "I".But then, there never was an "I" in the first place, so why should they be different? The body is slightly nervous at being questioned. MmmHmm! Useless conditioned response.

Elena: So what is that what you want?

Greg.

Greg!
It's not a conversation. What I am asking you or writing you has nothing to do neither with logic, knowledge or intellect. You don't need to prove me anything. I don't need to prove you anything. You wrote to me. Why? What is that you want?


What are you still looking for?

What are you trying to find?

WHAT IS NOT YET HERE?

Greg: What I want is the end of my suffering. When I say "my", I know that it is not actually "my" suffering. Still, it seems like there is suffering temporarily, and at those temporary times it seems like there is a "me" to experience the suffering. Then the suffering evaporates and the sense that "I" felt it goes away too. Perhaps this is only intellectual understanding.


Elena: How do you see the end of suffering?


Greg: What am I trying to find? I guess it would be help with looking deeper.

Elena: Why you need that? What is the drive behind it? Look, brake it, what is there?


Greg: What is not here yet? I have no good answer for this.At least when I calm down and be quiet, I don't seem to perceive that anything is missing.

Elena: So when you are not calm and quite, is there anything missing?


Greg: Hi Elena, I took a little time to wait for "not calm and quiet" so that I could answer your question. It's not happening though, so I'll address your questions now anyway.

> How do you see the end of suffering?
Good question. I suppose my ideal is some long lasting fantastic mind state that is not reactive to anything. At least that is what my idea of the end of suffering has been for so long.

As I was writing my last message to you, I realized I am now confused about suffering where I was once clear about it. it used to seem so solid and I could say "yes, there is suffering, now to find a way out!" Now though, it's difficult for me to say it with certainty. I know there is no self and this
knowing is present now under conditions that would have caused me definite suffering before. When I am feeling something unpleasant and even the mind makes an unpleasant reaction, what used to be suffering is more like... just the unpleasant thing and then just the unpleasant mental reaction and maybe even an unpleasant physical reaction to the mental reaction. And then they
all fade and I'm a bit confused. Did I suffer just then? I think it used to be suffering, now not sure. It looks more like just stuff happening and unpleasant is a part of it. Was the unpleasant suffering? How can it be, it was just the unpleasant whatever. Then where was the suffering? Was the unpleasant mental reaction the suffering? I used to think so, oh yes! But now I pause there and look. It doesn't look any different than the unpleasant in the first place. Just another unpleasant with a different flavor, but soon
gone. Then where was the suffering in that? Seriously! I've seen suffering before, where did it go? I'm sorry to go on, it's just strange to be confused about this now and it's hard to express the confusion. How can I find the certain end of suffering if I can't even find the suffering for certain? It
doesn't make any sense at all.

>> What am I trying to find?

I guess it would be help with looking deeper.

>> Why you need that? What is the drive behind it? Look, brake it, what is there?

Good question again. When I first felt the need to ask for help, I was
extremely disturbed (after Dominic's talk about the self). And then this shift in understanding happened and I wasn't confused at all anymore. So just as Shane gave me your email address and suggested I ask you for help, the
gripping desperate need for it vanished. Ahha, so finally I answer the question. I don't need it. But I didn't see any harm in completing the original intention to contact you.

>> What is not here yet?

I have no good answer for this. At least when I calm down and be quiet, I don't seem to perceive that anything is missing.

>> So when you are not calm and quite, is there anything missing?

Whoa!!!! I tried to answer this three times, decided my last answer was good, headed for bed, 
and then suddenly this 1 + 1 = HOLY SHIT happened! Every time something seems to be missing, the thought that perceives the missing thing always has an “I” in it! If there is unhappiness, it's just unhappiness. But if I am unhappy, “I” need to be happy; happy is missing! If uncertainty pushes to the top, there is great uncertainty. But when I am uncertain, I need to know; knowing is missing! What the Fuck! Can't believe I didn't see that happening before! Before I, nothing is missing. Only I makes it missing.
 
How totally awesome! Wow, there is a LOT there. So much to watch.... too excited for bed. Heeheeheee

Elena:Absolutely amazing!! Greg, well done! awesome! hahaha
much
love
your way!


Greg:Elena, thank you soooo much. Tremendous love an appreciation for you here.

Just so awesome! Frequent laughter over here for absolutely no reason, it's just delight and it's awesome! 



Please don't stop helping others. What a gift!!!





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Born in June 2011 out of inspiration to share how to end life long spiritual search, drop the observer, and return back to naturalness we are.

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