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,

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?


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?


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
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!!!