Thursday, 2 February 2012

From Depression to Lightness...

I have been talking to John on the forum, but then we moved it to private messages. Here is how it happened.
Hi Ilona,

I actually have mild depression but feel shy to disclose so use feelings instead of depression. The feelings are painful, sadness, contraction/tightness, awful squueze feeling in the chest.
There are moments in the day when the feelings are just gone! Feel lightness that is 50% of the no-self expereience i've had!

I also fear that this inquiry leading nowhere like I've been reading/following so many paths for years and want this to end. I see some posts it took hours to realize which I think I did but wonder how I can lose it... Has anyone came back to you after being realized because they "lost it"?

Hope this explain my situation better and thanks for helping!

Thank you for message. if you prefer we can carry on in here, rather than on the forum, or if you choose, email me at

the feelings are there for a reason. and yes, this inquiry is going somewhere, as long as you keep with it. mind is trying to create all kinds of distractions and doubts, because we are getting somewhere important, where it would rather not look. but if you keep pushing just a little bit further, all will become obvious very soon.

now if you look at those feelings, ask them, why are they here, why is the sadness here, see what is behind it. take a closer look to the feelings and notice, is there a feeler? what is the feeling without label? just sensation in the body, raw energy, stay with it, look, what is behind.
write to me what you find.

much love.
P.S. that which is seen can never be unseen. just like santa situation, is it possible to believe in santa again once you know it's a lie.

Hi Ilona

Thanks for your post and PM!! Appreciate your positive encouragement.
Yes lets continue using private message.

Replying to your message:
Thanks for encouraging to stay with it! Sometimes, I feel sick of seeking and not finding.
"now if you look at those feelings, ask them, why are they here, why is the sadness here, see what is behind it. take a closer look to the feelings and notice, is there a feeler? what is the feeling without label? just sensation in the body, raw energy, stay with it, look what is behind."

Response: Feelings are here for no reason, its just there? Or feelings are here to protect the self, to shout to stop looking? Does this make sense? Why would feelings hurt self? The sadness is here because there is nasty tension, contraction in the chest and I dont like it.

What is behind it? There is nothing behind it, but no click. Like I didnt sense a shift, I was expecting to see hey this feeling happening to no one, not me, woohoo, yeah!! I am free!! So whats real, feelings still there. Then I still feel happening to me, argghhhh. Or feeling is me.
Is there a feeler? Now you ask, I seem to have 2 answers. No there is no feeler. Yes there is feeling happening to/at the core sense of me, so the feeler is the core sense of me. But core sense of me can also be looked upon as another sensation.

What is feeling without label? Feeling without label is just feeling existing, sometime can see feelings are not personal, its just there. Yes just sensation there, energy. What is behind it? I seem to can't look behind or there is nothing behind it.

I am sorry if I am seeing 2 different insights or answers. I spent an hour inquiring, and the answers keep switching back and forth. I see it then I don't see it.

I have read many of the conversations, it seems weird people just notice thoughts, notice I thoughts and then they pop so easily but I can't. I tried answering their questions, I can reply same answers but I don't pop. I spend like 5 hours today!

I am going out of town for 3 days. Ask me a list of questions, will reply in 3 days time.
Thanks and sorry for my slow popping...

you are very very close. very close. just don't expect a click or boom, or lights in the eyes. nothing happens, relax about it. notice that everything IS happening by itself. to no one.
dive in to it.

you keep looking and not finding, because you still think that there is something to find. there is no you. at all. just experience happening in now.

sadness comes to visit and leaves. thoughts can go and create stories about it, or you can just observe the raw feeling as it happens and release happens.

you are not trapped into sense of being. sense of being is not a trap. thought that you are trapped is what traps you. there is no you, is it true?

Replying your post:

Yes, I am trapped in the amness, sense of being, sense of alive, sense of me. I am not sure how to see whether its personal or not? If I see presently, I can see this just a sensation that is intimately close, always there. But I have to be present and focus or I just move to assuming it is me. I guess this is the paradox that there is a sense of me but it is not me or mine.
Existence/amness, life, feelings, thoughts, sensations is and are real - yes, agree.

You are not.
the core here is a belief that there is this separate entity 'me'. an unquestioned belief. question it.

IS THERE REALLY A 'ME'? what is there if there are no thoughts about it?
Response: I have spend 15 minutes looking, pure seeing, no seer, temporarily see there is no self inside the body but no click. Seeing no click, I question the belief. There is a me as a thought or image but no real existence, not in reality. So if there is no thoughts about it, there is no me. I think this but no click. There is still a sense of me, hard to see through this permenantly, really sorry. If I focus, I can see this can labeled as just sensation that feels like I??

Sounds that you are passing through nicely.
Keep on noticing what is and get back to me with full account when ready.

Much love!
Flow just is.

Hi Ilona,
Truly sorry for being away, having good feelings/lightness to life, I want to spend sometime to look and investigate whether I have passed through.

For the first few days of good feelings, most seeking stop, I am staying with the present, noticing. Some bad feelings come, I can label feelings as feelings without labeling as I feel. When sense of me becomes strong, I can saythat is sensing/sensations without labeling it as me.

Life continues jumping back and forth between lightness and normal. I thought it could deepen or stabilize but it didn't. For past 2 days there is no lightness feelings, it seems disappearing.
In response to your 12 jan post, yes I keep looking to maintain the lightness experience that comes and goes. Lightness experience when walking, doing, seeing, hearing without a sense of me, feels light and sweet. I want to see no-self so lightness experience become forever and the sense of me/tightness will lessen or disappear. Sometimes, there is a lingering feeling that I am that tight sense of me, even though I try to label it as just sensation.

Right now, when there is sense of me, I label it as sensation only, but it didn't have the lightness experience. It seems like I just substitute "sensation" word to "I/self" word.

Thank you for writing. I thought about where you disappeared and here you are.

Lightness and sweetness are characteristics of seeing it. But let's check you out properly, so all gets clear. I usually ask to answer four questions. Please answer in full.
1) Is there a you, at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
2) Explain in detail what the self is and how it works.
3) How does it feel to be liberated?
4) how would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about no you.

Looking forward to your answers. And then we'll take it from there.
Sending love!

Hi Ilona,
Hehehe sorry for the temporary disappearance. Thanks for being there for me :)
Reading your questions, I find it difficult to answer now, let it settle a day, I'll reply you tomorrow.

I'll try to answer your questions first followed by my thoughts below. My worry is I had read so much that I copy other people's answers.

1) Is there a you, at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
No there is no me in any shape or form. Although sensation or thoughts labelled as me still comes and goes.

2) Explain in detail what the self is and how it works.
The self is a thought and it always attaches to experiences, thoughts, sensations, feelings, even noticing or awareness and wanting to own them.

3) How does it feel to be liberated?
The lightness comes and goes. Sometimes, I feel lightness in life as there is no burden/emotional baggage of a self, no-self, life happening spontaneously. Out of nowhere, actions followed by actions happen, work done without a controller/orchestrator. Then sometimes, a sensation labelled as me arises or the thoughts that I am the thinker or I am the tight "I AMness" arises, the lightness gone, life goes on mudanely (no click no pop way).

4) how would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about no you.
Are you feeling disatisfied with life? If yes, I have found something that can help you. You see you always think you exist, everything is analyzed in relation to this I. But if you look, this I is just a thought, a story. I am poor, I am fat, I am ugly are just saying this "I-word/thought" is fat,ugly,poor. What does the I refer to? If you think you are the thinker, notice where do thoughts come from? Can you stop thinking? Try it. If you say the I refers to a sense of self/presence, ... (Stop. I am lost here.) My mind says to continue typing "that sense of self/presence is just a sensation and then mind labels it as I". I believe it conceptually but don't experience it. How to argue further?

Don't know why , but before the 4th question, all goes well. Then when answering #4, the strong tightness/contraction of self arises. I don't think I am there yet but sometimes I want so badly, it feels like I am there. Hope you understand :)

Thank you for your honesty. Yes indeed, you may read about it and know the right words, but that does not mean that pop happened.. In your case I see that it did, it's a little wonky now as system has to rebalance and for some time it comes and goes in waves. Contraction~ expansion. Sometimes mind just refuses to believe that this can be so simple.

What are your expectations that haven't been met? Can you look at that and also tell me, what is missing from right now? What is here if there are no thoughts about it?

The lightness is one of confirming factors that follow the seeing. Doubt is also happening, but is it happening to someone? Thoughts about doubt are also happening effortlessly..

Wow you ask some deep, sharp questions! Really thankful!

After reading your message, I feel a slight release as you said I made it. But then as day goes by, I still feel I am not there yet. That is before I absorb what you asked/wrote.

My expectations is a complete detachment from experiences since there is no one there, the lightness that everyone said the way they live life differently after liberation! What is missing? The lightness, the permanent seeing that self doesn't exist or illusional, like 100% believe Santa is illusion. Now the seeing that self is illusion comes and goes, with more times of self/thoughts than no self. It's like I have to check/look constantly to see self is illusion, there is still holding on, sometimes it's so strong, the self seems there.

What is here when there are no thoughts about it? Ankle pain (see below) no thought saying it is mine, nice. Seeing, typing, reading, feeling, senseing, no self. Amazing question. Hehe a lightness feeling now.
I am sorry I have a sudden surge in my ankle pain which is ongoing for years but I went swimming yesterday and now it's really hurting. Now, the lightness is gone and there are constant thoughts that I am in pain, meaning sense of I still exists. So not there yet? I was expecting there is pain but no me, hahaha - I know how non-dual that sounds...

Yes doubt happens, it is only happening to a thought/a story. Wow, a relief, hope this holds/continue - hahaha yet another doubt or thought happening effortlessly. You are the thought/doubt slayer.

dear John,
the end of your message made me laugh, let's slay some more thoughts here :) haha.

right, so i get it that you expect somehow disappear, the sense of i is still here, hahahahaha. ok.
look, there is this body and it experiences pain in the ankle. no escape here. pain is real. no-me is not something that is. it's zero. all the experience, story, life, is real, as always. no changes here.

the sense that you call i, is it here without label? is there any difference on what label is stuck on it?

much love ....

Sorry for my late reply :)

please slay more thoughts until they are terrified of you.

Today is a refreshing day, I can say self don't exist throughout the day. Today is also the 2nd time since the the first pop (reading Elena and Elizabeth's blogs in Dec) I can say I never existed, there is no me, never has. Amazing!

Returning to your message, yes I expect to disappear yet sense of I still here. Now only faintly since replying your message I noticed the sense of self, the sense of self loves to argue with you, saying hey I am here, you can't slay me. Told him tp shut up, hahaha.

Ok have to accept no escape here, I am sure you know I have been wamting liberation as an escape to problems. You said experience, story, life, do you mean experience/story/life as same thing?

The I-sense is here without the labeling. Do you mean, as example, if I put a label like heart to sense of I? The sensation of I don't change despite the label but I feel more relieve/light if I label it as heart than I. Nice!!

What is sense of self prior labelling it?

Can you sense something that does not exist?

Close your eyes and imagine you are holding a ball in between your hands, imagine it vividly including shape, size, texture, temprature hold it there sensing it. Then open your eyes. Was it a ball that you have sensed? What happened to the ball?

Same is with sense of self. Once you open your eyes and see that there is no I, no self at all, what is that is being perceived by senses?
Can sense of I dissapear?

Have fun with that.

Hi Ilona,
Thanks for the reply!!

Prior to labelling, I have to say sense of self is just a body sensation.
No I cannot sense something that does not exist.

I tried your ball experiment, no it was not a ball that I've sensed, it was an imagined ball. The ball disappeared when I see it never existed.

Ok so I can sense something that does not exist, an imagined thing. So once I open my eyes see that there is no self, I am perceiving a body sensation.

Wait, but the sensation of ball is only few seconds so it's easy to see through the illusion. But this core body sensation is almost always there, I can open my eyes and see it's stll there, no?
Sorry understood intellectually but not realizing it yet.

Now I still see there is no-self but still seeking mildly...

the core body sensation is not an illusion. it's here now, and it's real. the belief that it's self that you are sensing, that is not true. it's a real sensation + a label.
life, reality, aliveness body sensation is real = 1
i/ self/ me isn't = 0

how does this feel?

Hehe thanks for quick response.

Now I understand your point, it is real body sensation + label.
I feel a tightening body sensation, trying to push my thought to label the sensation as I, a sudden giggle cause I said no that is not I.

Still no pop yet, maybe let me absorb a day, will reply you tomorrow. A little less concern on the tightening though.

cool, let it sink in. notice how everything confirms it. :) write to me tomorrow.
much love.

I think I made it - I can see that beingness body sensation as just sensation, not me. I can't be found.

There is a lightness to life, although sleepiness, tiredness affects the lightness but I stopped labelling I am/having "tiredness/fatgue".

I am able to notice things without relating to a me.

There is no significant "pop" or super experience. Life goes on without sense of self, although the self tries to emerge occasionally. I was hoping something more significant, a different chop wood, carry water experience. Thoughts of this can't be it arises.

There is still tightening but it doesnt frustrate me as much, seems like last fight to impose as self.

Sounds like you did :) I mean- seeing happened :)

Yes, there is usualy an expectation for some grand pop, but it's only a drop of belief, no big bang, no bright lights, no angel songs...

Tell me please, what was that last bit that pushed you over?
Much love!! I'm so delighted for you.

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for the reply and staying with me.

I am truly sorry, wanting to be honest. As the day goes, I still have doubts whether this is it. It's like nothing has changed except that I stop seeking (maybe this stop is temporary).

I still feel life as mudane compared to the lightness everyone is saying, like they have such a good relief, delighted, tears coming out, laughters, giggles, hahahahhaha, etc... It's like people saying they start to live life differently, excitingly, dancing with life. That didn't happen to me.

In reply, (if it still applies) the last bit is as you keep pushing, asking me to question again and again, slaying the thoughts that the "sense of existence" is me. I have been reading so many books, you are existence, I am that I am, sense of I Am/existence is always there, you are it, look at yourself, look at I am, sense the I am, find the I am. It is a rock solid belief.It takes many questionings, looking (focus, relax, notice, focus hard, relax), investigating from your guide to chisel bit by bit and slay the belief/thought that I am sense of I am. The sense also tightens whenever I question it, I allow the tightness to be there, accept it (thoughest thing ever), and see it as sensation like a cup. What makes a cup your cup? Thoughts/labels. Those few points pushed me over. Many thanks for the encouragement!

I'll post next replying your 4 questions to know where I am at.
Just to see where I am.

1) Is there a you, at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
No there is no me at all anywhere, in any shape or form.

2) Explain in detail what the self is and how it works.
The self is a thought that always try to grasps and own experiences, feelings, sensations and thoughts and comparing/analyzing them.

3) How does it feel to be liberated?
Nothing much has changed, life is mudane, except I don't see things happen to an inner core. There is much less thought saying I own this, this is happening to me, I am that something. There is supposedly a lightness living without a core but I don't experience it now.

4) how would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about no you.
I would say hey do you have major trouble with life? If yes, I can tell you what works for me. You see you always think you are the body/thoughts, the ego. But that is false, any problem is only owned by a thought. I am fat, poor, ugly is just a thought I saying it is fat, poor, ugly. A thought saying it has a problem. Where is the you in that? The I thought is not you, can a thought live life? Can I thought see, breathe etc...? There is an investigation method at a Forum Liberation Unleashed that can teach you how to see that the ego or I thought is just a story, an illusion. Check it out.

Looking forward to your answers. And then we'll take it from there.

oh great!
"It's like nothing has changed except that I stop seeking"
this is IT! :)

every human is unique. and waking up is unique, if you read books and what others say it only creates expectations, what it should be like. but, no one can tell how it's should be for you. what is happening is perfect for you.

i did not have any event, no bright lights and no boom, it was completely gentle and subtle. i could not believe that it was it for a day or too, but the more time passed, the more obvious it became. so it looks to me, that it's similar how it's happening for John :))

nothing changed, but seeking dropped--- welcome to life without seeking. even if this feels not big deal, it is a definite shift. and yes doubt comes up, but not to be feared or judged. it comes up so truth can be confirmed again and again. it may take a bit of time for it to sink in. one week, then around 2 months, or so, it's all gradual. and life unfolds in the perfect way for you..
chop wood carry water, sleep, eat, carry on with whatever is mundane as always. nothing is gonna change because there never was a separate you, just a confusion in the mind.
let's look a little bit at this :

There is supposedly a lightness living without a core but I don't experience it now.
is there a core? just dig a bit here. is there a boundary between inner and outer? how far does the outer expands?

what is not effortless?

let me know if i can put out conversation on the forum, so my friends can check thoroughly and confirm that you are through, so i can invite you to unleashed- the afercare group, that offers support and help whenever needed.
so much love and appreciation for you here, my friend.
big hug.

You are like a light beacon guiding and supporting me, can't thank you enough!!!

So feeling life is boring does not mean unliberated... I do feel instances of lightness today, seeing life happening effortlessly. Til today, still not seeking. Occasionally, a self comes in with a sense of strong boredness say "seek more, c'mon this state is so boring/mudane like nothing has happened, you need to spice up your life, find excitement, seek something, do something" I just let it pass.

I am glad to hear that you have similar gentle, subtle experience - great assurance!
In reply to your question, no there is no core, never has. It is just a body sensation mistakened as a core or I. Life/experience happening effortlessly.

Yes sure of course, you can put my conversation up and hope can get some more confirmation. With your unconditional help/guidance, I'll be happy to help in anyway. If I am confirmed, I want to write a short summary (3-5 pages) of my seeking too to help others understand what I've gone through. I wanna help others too to avoid taking the endless long route and take the short cut instead. No more reading 500 books to get nothing has changed.

I should be the one deeply appreciated for your help and kindness, Ilona the self-slayer!! Many thanks friend!!

great stuff John! i'm so delighted for you. :))

i"ll put this conversation on my blog. you can start writing too. same here, i feel i can help people go the short way- right to the point.
much love.

I am delighted too with you by my side in this journey!

I will appreciate if one or two of your friends could confirm that I've made it.

Yeah I also sympathize with the seekers (been there, done that) so I hope can share my perspective on the short cut!



  1. Sweet John.
    Thanks for a new friend Ilona.

    see you at Unleashed John.

  2. Ilona, can't thank you enough, couldn't have made it without you!! Hope this can be helpful for the others!

  3. Hi there Vince,

    I've read some of your posts in the forum :)

    Thanks for the comments and confirmation! I was telling Ilona that this is so ordinary, could this be it?? Thanks for the assurance!

    See you at Unleashed :)