Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Theravada meditation teacher: I see it as THE opportunity of life times.

Hello Elena,

Thank you for your willingness to look at this. I admire and respect
your dedication toward helping others.

A little about my back ground. I have been practicing meditation
consistently for over fifteen years and have been teaching meditation
and Buddhist principles for seven of those. I am an ordained Buddhist
minister, but shy away from the ritualistic practices of the Buddhism.
I teach three or four times per week to help people find a solution to
ease their troubles, I have literally gone through hundreds and hundreds
of meditation students. I have written several books an the subject, and
lead by example by practicing sitting meditation a lot! but! No one, to
my knowledge, is waking up! there is no permanent liberation to be
found. No body, including myself, is getting truly free.

In my personal practice I have seen improvements in clarity and
understanding of selflessness. I have a love for the truth. That is what
motivates me. I have the determination to look in side and see what is
not there. There are moments of seeing through the illusion but it does
not stick. There is this self talk that says "this is a gradual path,
just relax and it will come" and then there is the other inner voice
that says " you don't have much time, get this done with, see through
the illusion of the 'I' NOW and for ever and really help others".

I enjoy teaching, but even more, there is the inner drive to help people
through there suffering, ( you have this same drive). I understand that
the suffering that is so prevalent in the people I meet is from the the
false identity of "self". Although to truly liberate others, I should
first be free from this illusion my self other wise It seems like I am
teaching people what I know and that seems to be how to relax the body
and still the mind.

I am needing a push. I know it is possible get beyond this wall. I wish
to see the truth and have it last and stick. I want to hear that SNAP in
the back of the head and know that I really qualify to talk to others
about what their life can be like once liberated. I know that what you
and the others are doing here works, and see it as THE opportunity of
life times.

Elena: I appreciate your honesty, Shawn. This what will get you through: be willing to re-examine your immediate experience what is what.  As meditator you can break up your experience on components, right? So lets just do that. Look at "I" right now and tell me what you see. One by one, anything that arises - write.

Shane: When looked at, "I" seems to arise and fall away. Such as, when something has to be done or when a mind state is noticed it seems to be more present. Just now when searching for a way to communicate this the "I" did not seem to be present. So there seems to be a strong "I" should do this or "I" will be doing or "I" did that. But, it does seem to come and go. Oh! one strong thing I just realized, is that when I noticed that you called me Shawn instead of Shane, a sense of Shaken identity or a grasping at the "I" arose.

Elena: It's strong, this grasping. I called Robert S."Bob" and the same happened! Look how label Shane is just the same as label "I". it's just a label. 

What is Shane? A word/thought + emotions+sensation. 
What is "I"? A word/though + emotions + sensations.

Thought - exist
Emotions - exist
Sensations - exist

Shawn - just a label
I - just a label

Look in this direction.

Let me know what comes up.

Shane: It is noticed right away that what comes up is a feeling of tension or uneasiness. The label is just there. Thought  triggers emotion and sensation the result is this uneasiness.

Elena: Shane is a label, as Shawn too! So we have this feeling arising when the label is a little off. You are Theravada guy, you can break up the experience and see:
- feeling - yes
- uncomfortable sensations - yes

- associated thoughts - yes

me? - no

where is the self in all of that?

sense of self - yes
actual self - no

but again, you can look deep what sense of self is -

all the same thoughts, sensations, feeling

Please look at all this, and write to me what's going on

You are very close, can't be otherwise with all your experience...

...which is not yours. Just is.

Experience is. The thought "I" "mine" comes and claims the experience.

Sharing just happening, you know. Are you doing it? No.You know, it's just a movement that get's expressed in particular way. So why anything else should be different?

Ask yourself, ask where you hang on. What is that? 

Please, do not go into equanimity, go hot and desperate and ask. "Where the hell I am clinging??!!"  ASK!

Shane: There is a strong feeling that staying with the immediate experience is key here. This being the only reality there is. The only place where we can find true honesty of any situation. So, with the arising of a thought, there seems to be the co-arising or the manipulation of the already present emotions and sensations. [this can sound deeper than it really is, can't it] it is just what it is. These things happen and they are not me as long as I do not try to attach a story to all of it. It occurs to me that even if attaching a story to these arising things, it still is not the truth. just a false label that is applied to the process of thought-emotions-sensations or as you said, what is what.

Elena: What you wrote to me was more like a discourse, Shane. We both don't need that, really. Let's do this. I will push, you look, you come back and answer EXACTLY what was asked.  You try your best not to analyze, otherwise I would have to slap you, Shane, even though I do respect all your experience, but at the same time, I would not be doing what I am doing, if I would just listen to you. I trust what's arising here, so if I read and I feel no interest, no concentration in what you wrote to me, I trust that. Was it great insight? Maybe, but I don't care. I keep very narrow focus, and won't step even one step sideways. Tell me if it is ok with you, and if you are willing to stay to the end? And if you are willing to stop reading no-self, non-duality staff while with me, if you are willing to have raw emotions, and if you are willing to look at them in the way i ask you. 
I am going to wait for your answer.

Shane: Yes Elena, lets do this. no reading stuff and raw emotions. I read your question as "Where the hell am I clinging??!!"  So I am just going to just write here....this is tough because I feel as if there is something that I should be fighting off, like beating down with a stick to get ride of it, but  don't know what it is for sure.

Elena: You did not answer my question, Shane. 
Here it is again:
Ask yourself, ask where you hang on. What is that? Please, do not go into equanimity, go hot and desperate and ask. "Where the hell I am clinging??!!"  ASK.”

Shane: to an attempt to be that intelligent, charming, funny, nice hard working guy. But wonder what all of that is. Is it the "I" or is it just the way i see the personality or want is it? Seems strange but i seem to be looking for something to let go of, something bad or wrong and find it frustrating not knowing what it is.

Elena: I want to know if you asked. What did you do? Did you look up in your habitual way (not bad, or good here), just habitual. For you it may be subtle, since you used to look, divide, dissect.

Here how it goes with Theravada people: they focus their attention, divide the experience, look, understand, etc. What's wrong with this?
That self, that is in the middle of each step.

You came to me and said : I feel this dissatisfaction, I feel the search is still going, I have a burning desire to see the truth to help others. It is very noble intention, very cool. And its great you know it is possible. It means that it is possible for you. Any moment.

So when I tell you ask yourself where you hang on,

here is what you do:

You understand that this is essential for you 

to see the truth.
With that understanding and strong intention, 

to the point of desperation, 
like this is the last question of you life - 
only one 
and then you die, 
you -

then you become very quite, 

another words, 
shut up the habitual thinking, analyzing, any meditation - whatever you are doing

completely shut it off

and listen
Shane: "The clinging could be..."

so I won't here "could be" or "should be" - it must be clearly seeing

Let's do it again.

Shane: I did just as you asked....It is being! it is continually trying to be some thing or some one. A relentless trying to be this or that. A teacher, an author, a humanitarian what ever...it is being. NOT to let it be.... but to be somebody. I will have to let this settle to see if there is something more. but there are tears...

Elena: so now look plainly, physically, with 2 eyes and see that being-ness is going, regardless of you trying to be, tensing in this "somebody" or that one…it's just is. And tensing/contracting is that beinng-ness too. There is no you. Regardless of how being-ness presenting itself. No you. Just as a label, yes. Actual you - not at all. Nada. Look that this being-ness does not require you as an entity there to manage it's flow. Look at the baby. When baby is born there is only being, being-ness there. Baby is one with it's environment. Baby cries out of sensations of hunger, movement happens toward the breast. Where is self in all that? None. Something happens later when baby start to associate the sensations, the body with himself - "I", "mine". All experience now is divided and labeled. But what's true? There is no separation, no entity. So all life now this paradox is trying to resolve itself. This is the suffering - the turmoil of dissatisfaction, of seeking, of feeling incomplete, feeling of something missing. Until the label seeing again as a label, not the owner of the house. The owner never was there, just an illusion. Can you look now and tell me what you see. Look right at your experience. What is there?

Shane: The experience right now! is that there is the world being the world with its sounds and colors. Sense information coming into this body. Everything is happening as it should. No surprises. When just sitting here seeing and looking at this, It feels like there is no one pushing. just looking is happening.

Elena: great. Look now. Answer me this:

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

Shane: I looked and looked...there is body, like  flesh and bones. but, no owner of this stuff.

Elena: do you exist?

Shane: No, there isn't anything existing. nothing there to claim it existences. Funny... nothing there to even claim it doesn't exist.

Elena: hahahaha! You made me laugh! So then what is "I" really?

Shane: Its just a label, really a mistake. like seeing a shadow and thinking its real, but nothing to see. Okay, like thinking of a shadow and believing its real.

Elena: What is happening now? Tell me what do you see.

Shane: There is just seeing, thoughts are happening, the body is being the body, there are sounds, and actually very pleasant emotions coming from the not being or not having to be that was mentioned earlier. [that's when they started] The body is just sitting and mostly just simply doing.

Elena: Ok, great, my friend Shane. And now - chop that wood: lead the classes, wash the dishes, write a book! Let's keep in touch, please write if anything, ok? Much love to you. Big warm hug! 

Shane: A very joyful Thank you! thank you! thank you! you are wonderful, like magic. Your words cut through the crap and into the heart of it. Things are very clear now! If you need anything please let me know. And please keep doing this work, it just might be our only hope.
Much love to you! and a big WARM hug back (it was over100 Degrees here again today)

Love, Shane

Elena: Thank you for your love. It was really an honor. You can help many people, even though we both know that all is right, and what is happening - happening, and there is no teacher or student, or people to help, but also this play is happening - in teacher and students, and help needed, and push needed, and whatever - all so intricate, so amazing…play along! And now you can really go into marketplace. So much love to you, Shane!
We will be in touch, of cause!