Ilona:hello Timizu, thank you for contacting me. now let's see what you brought. just press Post Reply button and write a little about your journey and what you expect from this conversation. make a list of how you imagine this would be like after.
looking forward to hear from you.
Timizu:In 1975 at age 19 I had a near death experience that gave me a profound glimpse of the awakened mind/heart. This experience set the stage for a life of walking a path with heart seeking the end of suffering for myself and others. I practiced Zen in California and this brought me to Japan where I have lived for the last 30 years. I have been fortunate to experience many methods of awakening, including yoga, breath work, native American practices, Enneagram, and for the last 5 years most significantly, inquiry with The Work of Byron Katie.
I have many insightful experiences and awakened moments and also still get caught in my stories sometimes. I have experienced the beauty and joy of life without attaching to story and I would like to live there full time.
If what I have experienced so far is any indication (and I love that I don't know!) what I might expect from this conversation, this inquiry, is seeing the illusion of "me" so clearly that it cannot be a problem again. After "crossing" I really do not expect any specific "thing". "Don't know" feels good to me. And I notice that I have preferences for the quiet openness, clarity, joy and kind actions that have come when I have done The Work sincerely. And in this process I am very open to simply letting the reality of the situation inform itself of what is and is not true
I hope this is helpful.
I look forward to hearing from you about the next step.
That's beautiful, timizu. Thank you. It's a great place to be- no expectation, no knowing...
Ok, let's see where you are at. If I say, that there is no entity you, no controller, no manager, no owner, no observer of 'your' life, none as in zero, what comes up? Write what feelings and thoughts.
Last night when I first read your message, The part about "no observer of 'your' life", struck a feeling of surprise, even a little fear and I heard in my head, "what do you mean no observer?" No awareness? I can see that the I is a story, a phenomenon, but there seems to be awareness. Then what is aware? How is this communication happening? Sitting with that fear, I noticed that it is the fear that there is nothing. Funny how the mind projects meaning onto words.
Then this morning when I read your message again, no manager, no owner, no controller, none as in zero, a feeling of relief, a sigh of relief. It feels very kind not to have to drive, and experience trust in what is. And I notice that there is something that seems to be a me experiencing that.
Yes, there is something aware, or in other words aware-ing is a process.. If you look around you, notice that noticing is happening all by itself. There is no noticer same way as there is no breather, no eater, no runner, just action happening, experiencing happening.
Look at language and how it is constructed:
There are labels for objects: table, car, body, thought, feeling, fear etc.
There are labels for activities: I breathe, I cough, I scratch an itch, I run, I feel. There is an object doing action according to the way that language is set. It's an assumption that has never been questioned.
If there was no language, there would not be an I. It's a label, a word that precedes other words. Cat has no I and he lives happily.
Observe action today, is there a doer in the experience or just an experiencing happening + labbeing happening = story is being created. Write what comes up.
Thanks. Enjoying this very much. Action of going to sleep is happening now. Look forward to exploring more tomorrow!
Somehow this came through today as a next bit for our conversation.
A wonderful day! Looking for a doer in experience and there's no doer. Labeling happening, thoughts coming and going, stories flow and like dreams they come and go on their own.
Checked Facebook and there was a post by my niece that said she was not feeling well, again. Then, as I (this is the story) was fixing breakfast painful thoughts of her and her problems started to come and instantly a beautiful feeling of love welled up to meet them. I saw that those thoughts were not about her. They had nothing to do with her. I was delighted to see that they were a story about my own pain. And instantly and even more delightfully the loving presence welled up to meet the story of a me and it just flowed to cutting the apple, cooking cereal, pouring the soy milk, boiling water, making tea, one phenomenon flowing into the next in delight, as delight.
Moved through the day and checked many times to see if there was a doer and again and again there was not. It was what I would usually refer to as a busy day. Many times there were stories featuring, "I me, mine", followed by a silent "is it true?" And still no doer. It was fun to watch as " he, me" was making copies and the machine ran out of paper and there were marks on the screen and spots from the printer, buying white out to cover the spots... all things that would usually would cause a little stress. Normally, I might take a deep breath to get centered but it was just happening, flowing flawlessly as a story of flaws; funny, delightful, unfolding in perfection.
That is great report, thank you.
Ok, so story is narrating itself. Thoughts are like anchors to the stories and there is no control over that.
Does all this process require a 'me' to happen?
What is here when story shuts down for a moment?
Do you exist?
Last night sitting with some struggling with impulses and old stories of what is needed and the answer was sleep. Waking up today to find these answers coming for breakfast:
Does all this process require a me to happen?
This process is a story. No story, no process, no me. Me is a story. "It" is not a process. "It" is not a phenomenon. It just is, what it is, not! Not 1, not 0. What is "It"? Don't know. And in not knowing there is a knowing.
What is here when story shuts down for a moment?
Is-ness. The experience of the moment as it is. If there could be a word to describe the quality of this moment, it would be love itself.
Do you exist?
Yes, a big YES, that includes no! I exist as existence itself. I am here and here and here and here, as each moment and the infinite space that holds the moment; no separation. No expectation. Always a beginning. Yay!
brilliant, Timizu, so happy that you are coming out nicely on the other side.
tell me, does existence itself need a 'me' to exist? is existence/ life personal in any way? if i say life, existence, reality = 1, i, me, self = 0, how does this feel?
how is it going?
It is going well and I have been busy with work facilitating workshops in Tokyo over this weekend. These questions feel very deep and on the edge of unknown. I have not found the opportunity to sit quietly with them yet and when I do I will send my reply. And I see that existence does not need a me to exist because when the story of me stops, existence is present as presence itself. It is not personal. The language of me, words, verbal thoughts are the same as the wind, grass, the sound of traffic on the street outside. Nothing personal. That's all for now and I will get back to you when I do. Thanks for asking.
Yes, you are looking right at it!
Write more when you have time to do it. :)
is existence/ life personal in any way? No. This answer just came of itself, a quiet joy bubbling up from absolute unchanging foundational stillness as needed; returning in no time, having never, actually never left source at all.
If I say life, existence, reality = 1, i, me, self = 0, how does this feel? When I first read this, it sounded like the end of the world; end of me. With a twinge of fear it felt like I would lose all my world and all the dear ones in it and the memories of me built up with the efforts of years of life, learning and growing the story of this one unique me. The I let the question go and plunged into a busy weekend of work. Strange and not strange at all, as I facilitated and did the Work of Byron Katie over the week end, me was just not there and The Work just worked, joyful, deep, effortless. Came back to your questions and saw that what had seemed to be fear was just joy in disguise, the excitement of re- cognition and not even that. So, how does it feel, reality=1, i, me, self=0? Reality feels 1, me feels zero.
Awesome, my friend.
Let's see if you can answer these questions now.
1) Is there a you, at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
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 this illusion.
Just wanted to say thank you again for your beautiful, clear questions and the answers that reveal themselves so beautifully as reality. Have been hanging out with this seemingly new lightness of being and kind of test driving it over the last few days. Will be be sending answers to your latest questions as they come.
i'm so happy to hear from you. take your time to settle in and answer when ready. looking forward to read what you've got :))
Is there a you, at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever? No. Just mind innocently believing something it is not. There never was, is, or will be a separate entity, "me".
2. Explain in detail what the self is and how it works.
What mind identifies as "self" is a conglomeration of linguistic labels that have become habituated as beliefs. Before believing, there is just the experience of reality as it is with no distinction of experience and experiencer.
A thought appears, mind believes it, and the peace and beauty of reality as it is seems to disappear.
The illusion of "I" is born when mind, in complete innocence, believes that it is a separate human body. Another body, a feeding, nurturing body, talks to it and calls it, "baby" , "Timmy" , "Good boy!" And in an innocent unquestioned moment, a believer is born. Reality itself is unchanged, but the acquisition of language and attachments to beliefs facilitates the objectification of experience and the illusion of "self" and "other", "me" and my" world are simultaneously created together.
As a baby, the "adults" around "me" are believers too and do not question that the self is unreal. And Instead of just experience, there seems to be a doer that is in charge and needs to do something to satisfy its needs. But a doer cannot be. Separated from being, the illusion of the doer has no presence in reality and so it must be in constant movement from story to story, belief to belief, back and forth between desire and fear.
Mind attaching to the belief of a me, identifies the sensations of the body as good and bad, which leads me to want the good and reject the bad. Emotions and thoughts that come are also classified as good and bad according to my beliefs of who I am and what I need. And since the self is based on unquestioned thoughts and stories about reality, it can never be aware that it IS reality itself. And without the awareness of reality, the unquestioned mind, thinking it is a "self", must continually look for satisfaction where it can never be found. The result is stress, strife, suffering, and despair of ever finding peace.
The illusion of self, creates the illusion of suffering until the thoughts and beliefs that seem to hold the self together are questioned. And just as the unquestioned believers, our parents, teachers, and friends in the dream of "me" showed how to believe, friends who have questioned the illusion of self and awakened to reality, can show us how to use the language and experience of inquiry to awaken from the dream of a separate self that suffers.
How does it feel to be liberated?
Nothing special. Just lighter and happy, peaceful for no reason. Brief beliefs well up and reactions start to engage, then they just pass on. Doing everything I was doing before, just lighter. Working, what I would call a busy schedule. Just ok. And just don't see a me in this anymore. Well, actually I see it and interact with it, may even get a bit involved and excited about it, but it does not last, because I just don't believe it, believe the story of me.
How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.
Its kind of like Neo when he sees through the Matrix, but ordinary. No super powers! Just ordinary love, peace, and lightness of being, which is actually pretty super! Instead of seeing code all around, its like noticing the thoughts and beliefs in my head that I thought were me, and experiencing them as not personal. No me, no struggle. Life lives. I don't have to breath, I don't have to think, thoughts happen in perfect unfolding as needed. They always have, the only difference is now there is a shift in noticing. There is such quiet joy and deep peace in this. And as I have watched this over the last few days there are bumps in the road where, the old habit of I comes in and reacts for a bit and subsides. Any feedback on this is greatly appreciated.
Thank you, thank you!
The clarity is shining through your post!
*bows in honour*
Welcome to living free from belief in fantastic 'me' ! Yes, all is going on as always, only much lighter. Doubts comes up and passes by, anger, fear, frustration- no judgement that it's wrong or shouldn't be here. It's as you say- they just pass on :)
Thank you, timizu, you have been a pleasure to work with.
Are you on Facebook? If not, create an account and find me through my blog, I will invite you to the aftercare group. Sometimes support is needed as all structures connected to this belief start to fall.
It's a beginning of living free, I'm delighted to be part of your journey through this gateless gate.
Much love and appreciation.