Monday, 24 June 2013

There Isn't A Me To Be Complete


Sahajatara

May 31

Hello Ilona,

Thank you so much for writing to me. I'm really grateful, Thank you.

You asked me what it is I'm looking for and what I expect to happen. I'm not totally sure. I'm sort of 'tired ' of my self, like I've been crawling through the desert for years, its endless, just experiences of one sort or another, leading nowhere.

I am hoping I could become a more effective person in the area of raising consciousness about climate change, if I didn't have so much hope and fear due to the illusory self. That I would even have more energy for such work if I was in less internal conflict. I'm involved with the Green party too; I would like to be more effective there too in some way.


I am a bit on the aspergers spectrum as is my son and there are so many simple things I find hard. These things I believe, are made harder by the sense of self that wants to be a certain way or seen to be a certain way.


Also, a lot of my life is being at home with just me and my son, he has behavioural problems (as well as an amazing intellect ) and I suffer because my sense of self feels crushed and thirsting due to being shut in etc

I guess I'm just tired of the endless craving and aversion. And I'm nearly 45 and wonder how on earth I can move forwards.

I wanted to leave something beautiful in the world, I'm writing a book, a novel. I hoped to pour all my love and all the Beauty I've seen into it and whatever wisdom about the nature of how things are. Something that 'the light' shines through. It would be so amazing if I still wrote but from a place of no self, that would be something worth reading, a genuine contribution to Art.


And I would like some real spiritual progress to offer my son, and for the benefit of others who will be alive to experience the worst of climate change etc


I suppose my hearts secret wish is that I could actually make a real difference to the sufferings of humanity, and other beings.


My other secret wish is to be a great writer.

Also, I'm a study leader at the Buddhist centre and any benefits will pass to the women I study with.

I don't know if I have any expectations over how it will be, because my fear is that it won't work for me, that I'm not as spiritually developed as other members of the Triratna Order who have gone through the gate. I have often an image in my head from the cartoon of the Oscar Wilde story The Selfish Giant, where all the children are up in the trees and the trees are in blossom, except one tree is still in winter, and under it a tiny child is wandering, unable to get up into the branches. I relate to this image and it now comes to mind when I think of this: The others will get into the trees but I will be endlessly circling around mine, unable to find a way up.


My other fear, that I said before is fear my creativity will disappear, that without the self there won't be any passion or joy or wonder.


Also that I will be less into trying to change the world. I don't know who the Order members are who have gone through the gate so I am not speaking of them, but generally I have found my Order not very engaged in environmental or social justice work in this country, and my fear is that I wont care as much, that I wont be as driven to try to change outer things.


Mainly I'm afraid my passion and fire and joy will disappear and that I'll have killed some bit of Beauty that was in the world.


I find myself hoping I've said the right answer, worried I have revealed my inherent unworthiness. Under that, trust.


Thank you again Ilona, I look forward to hearing from you, all good wishes, Sahajatara.


Ilona 

May 31

Thank you for answer. I'd like you to read this page, http://www.liberationunleashed.com/ and see what it's all about.  It is not about fixing life or becoming more creative.  It's about finding out what is true.

Do you think you are ready to look at what is true, no matter what? If so, on the scale from 1-10, how ready are you? 1 being just curious, 10 burning for truth.

Sending love.


Sahajatara

May 31

Hello Ilona,

I'm looking for the real Truth 10 out of 10. I did look at your page, I am familiar with the idea of  'no doer behind the deeds', and it's just that I have not managed in nearly 20 years of practice to drop that experience of 'I'.

I guess I'm desperate for the truth. My fear is of becoming passive when the world so badly needs help, as I see such passivity among my Buddhist friends.


I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be free.

Love Sahajatara.

Ilona

May 31

Great! We can start.


Look in your experience right now, is there a reader that is reading these words? Or reading is happening?


Let this thought in, sit with it for a bit and write what feelings, thoughts, tensions, resistances come up:


There is no I at all, no separate self that lives in this body and is a manager, doer, thinker of thoughts. None whatsoever. There is no experience of I, as it does not exist. All there is life flowing freely as this.


There is no watcher, observer, container of life.


Write all that shows up.

Much love.

Sahajatara
Dear Ilona,
Thank you for your reply which I have been thinking about overnight.
You asked 'is there a reader reading there words or is reading happening?'
Well, it does seem that I am separate to the things in my room. I know intellectually that everything in my room is impermanent and made up by many conditions, but still a book mainly looks like a solid object. Similarly, when I look at my own experience, it seems that something IS behind my fingers moving to type on my phone, even if intellectually I see that I too am impermanent.
 So there's some sort of search going on. The self-searching for the self? What does that mean though? 'The self'? Well I do seem to be an independent entity, though I also seem to be dependent on huge webs of interconnection for my survival. Easier to see that the apple I eat is a product of conditions than to see the same of the self that eats it.
I am worried I won’t 'get it' that I am not clever enough or my karma is such that I haven't earned the right to wake up. Habitual feeling of not being good enough.
I have fear that I will be less loving if I wake up.
If there never was a self I shouldn't be afraid to let go the belief. I'm hanging on to something, I feel myself inwardly hanging on to something but I don't know what it is.
What will I lose? This thing that I'm told isn't really there anyway?
Why do I do what I do if there is no self? Who is it that wants to know the truth?
Intellectually I hear what you are saying; there is no separate self that lives in this body. Experientially, it seems that no other entities can move my hands or feet for me, I somehow can move my hands and feet myself, something is directing that movement, but if not the ego than what?
 I thought about it for ages last night. I guess you could say 'reading is happening', but who or what made the decision to read?
The truth is that I won’t 'lose' my self, as there never was one to lose. But I am totally bound up with my self.
'There is no experience of I as it doesn't exist ', but I do experience it all as 'I ', like 'I am hungry' or ' I am lonely '.
I really desperately want to wake up but I feel so separate and stuck.
Thank you again Ilona, sorry it may take me a while to understand.
With my Love, Sahajatara. 
Ilona
Jun 1
> You asked 'is there a reader reading there words or is reading happening?'
> Well, It does seem that I am separate to the things in my room. I know intellectually that everything in my room is impermanent and made up by many conditions, but still a book mainly looks like a solid object.
Ok, the question was not about a book. But, is there a reader that reads these words RIGHT NOW?
> When I look at my own experience, it seems that something IS behind my fingers moving to type on my phone, even if intellectually I see that I too am impermanent.
It seems, yes, but take a look, is there?
Wait for the answer to come and see how typing happens. Can you locate the typer?
> So there's some sort of search going on. The self searching for the self? What does that mean though? 'The self'?
The self is an assumption of there being a separate entity that lives in the bag of skin and is manager of what happens in life.
> Well I do seem to be an independent entity
Seem, or are you? Are you independent of environment, circumstances and situations?
> though I also seem to be dependent on huge webs of interconnection for my survival. Easier to see that the apple I eat is a product of conditions than to see the same of the self that eats it.
Self does not eat the apple. There is no self that eats it. Try that- take an apple and eat it. Is there a self behind eating or not? Look as if you do not know anything at all and see what you notice.
> I am worried I won’t 'get it' that I am not clever enough or my karma is such that I haven't earned the right to wake up.
This has nothing to do with story of karma or being not good enough.
> I have fear that I will be less loving if I wake up.
What is behind this fear?
> If there never was a self I shouldn't be afraid to let go the belief. I'm hanging on to something, I feel myself inwardly hanging on to something but I don't know what it is.
Yes it is fear.
> What will I lose? This thing that I'm told isn't really there anyway? 
It's fear of not knowing.  What is there that des threatened by looking?
> Why do I do what I do if there is no self?
Why does flower grow and flower or sun shines? Why does it rain?
Just because. Life is happening by itself.
> Who is it that wants to know the truth?
> Intellectually I hear what you are saying; there is no separate self that lives in this body. Experientially, it seems that no other entities can move my hands or feet for me, I somehow can move my hands and feet myself, something is directing that movement, but if not the ego than what?
No, ego cannot move arms or legs, it does not exist. Same like Santa does not exist. Nor this entity or other entities exist.
> I thought about it for ages last night. I guess you could say 'reading is happening', but who or what made the decision to read?
Is there a decision maker that makes decision to read these words? Eyes see letters, and then reading happens. Is it possible not to read these words?
> The truth is that I won’t 'lose' my self, as there never was one to lose. But I am totally bound up with my self. 
No you are not. There is no you to be bound already.
Write me what comes up after sitting with answers for a bit.
Sending love. 
Sahajatara
Jun 2

Hello Ilona, I've felt unable to quite get my head around the last questions, I just couldn't quite handle it. I saw Vajralila last night though and talked a lot about no self, and today with my ex-partner we talked a lot. He was saying how when we're really into something our sense of self sort of merges with that thing, how that’s an example of 'I' not being a thing located within the body.
It’s the idea that 'life is just doing it' that it is challenging at moment. I will write again tomorrow and answer the questions.
Thank you Ilona, Love Sahajatara.
Ilona
Jun 3
Will be waiting for your answers.
Yes, life is living itself, life-ing. No one is doing that. No one is making rain to rain or wind to blow or grass to grow. It's happening.  And human form is not outside of totality of life happening.
Sending love.
Sahajatara
Jun 3
Dear Ilona,
hello, yes sorry for delay, a combination of being overwhelmed and it being the weekend and having my boy all day etc.
I was very struck by what my ex-partner said yesterday about how it is when we are very engaged with something, how the tension between 'self' and 'other' is much less or not there at all.
You asked me how does typing happen, can I locate the typer?
I can’t locate some sort of impulse to type. I make decision to choose a certain word to express my thoughts. How is it that I am good with words I’m wondering and maybe another person is not good with words, is it just simply that there were certain conditions available to me ,one of which was literature.
What about 'magic'? you know when some synchronicity happens? What is that? 
I’m not sure I can locate a self. I can I think locate 'awareness' which is fed by the other senses, such as seeing, hearing. Awareness at the center of a web of senses and conditions.
That would be more the Buddhist idea of 'no fixed self ' though rather than 'no self '. It’s hard to get my head round that, that there’s not even a highly nebulous self at the center of experience, that there is just life 'life-ing'.
I said I have a fear that I will be less loving if I wake up, you asked what is behind this fear , I am scared that things won’t matter as much if there is no one for them to matter to.
The Buddhist perspective is that seeing into self is still not Enlightenment, that the bases of craving and hatred are not destroyed by seeing no self, I wonder what your thoughts are as to the truth of that?
You asked 'is there a decision maker that makes the decision to read these words? Eyes see letters and the reading happens. Is it possible to not read these words?
I guess that if I see words, I read them without particularly making a decision ,I just recognize them and my mind sorts out a meaning, which may or may not be the intended meaning.
Is there a decision maker that decides to read ? Well there’s kind of a chain of events .
If there's just life then, does anyone get to choose to be kind or be a better person or is it that some people just never encounter positive conditions and will just suffer? That there’s no spiritual quest, just a chain of events influenced totally randomly ? I think I’m struggling with the unfairness of that ,that it isn't even possible to earn spiritual help or love through doing good deeds, that it's totally random.
Back to the idea that life is just moving through us, I do experience drives in my being which seem 'non personal ', generally around the need to contribute to the good of the world, things that 'need doing' rather than 'things I’m really into ', and I’m often amazed at what 'I' can achieve when those forces are working through me.
That’s as near as I can get to experiencing life life- ing.
Hope that all makes sense! With Love and thanks , Sahajatara. 
Ilona 
Jun 3
Nothing is random. All is interdependent, synchronic, in harmony with everything else. And don't worry, nothing true is lost by this process, only the lies drop, beliefs and judgements. Creativity and love do not disappear. Neither character changes. It's a bit like if you are wearing shades and take them off, what is seen is not affected, only the seeing itself is clearer. All goes on without separate selves already, it's just a belief, that you are separate and in control of your life.
At this point it is most useful to stop comparing what any teachings say and not read or watch any videos by other teachers. Focus on your experience alone and think for yourself, answer your own questions, without referring to second hand descriptions. Deal?
Now look, is life working through you or as you? Is there a you that is directing life?
If so, how do you do that? Is there an owner of life?
Sending love.
Sahajatara
Jun 3
Thank you Ilona . Yes I agree to letting go of thinking in Buddhist terms .
I have been thinking how my body definitely operates beyond my conscious control. I can see that my body is kind of 'just happening'.
I was thinking a while ago when I was writing thoughts down that logically, it doesn't seem possible that there could be a 'me bit ' that somehow magically manages to exist separate from conditions in a world of interconnectedness. I'm not sure totally even what I think that me bit is at the moment. Awareness I guess ?
You asked me is life working through me or as me. I can see that my body is life working as me rather than through me. The ability to move arms and legs though?? You already told me it is life doing that, not a separate me. It does seem it though. Though I am less sure. I guess feelings are just a flow too, reacting to this and that, to whatever comes up. To even a thought that comes up. It feels like there’s awareness though, watching all of that. Awareness I think is what I cling to most strongly as 'me' or 'self’. Let me try to think if awareness is conditioned. I guess it is, like if I'm tired coz my boy gets me up early, I'm less aware then, I guess that means it’s not a totally fixed thing if its sometimes bright and at other times dull. Or if one was drunk or otherwise intoxicated, even by a thought, that clouds awareness. It still feels I am clinging to that as I. To my feelings too though I can see they are extremely variable and pulled around by 'outer' events. I'm just talking to myself all the time, reflecting on the unreality of self, I don’t 'get it ' yet but I am really trying.
Hope you are having a good day Ilona.
Love, Sahajatara
Ilona
Jun 4
Are you awareness? If so, what do you do as awareness?
See if you can answer me without using words like seems, feels like, maybe, I think.. investigate till you know then answer from your experience, not from thinking. 
Try this:
Lift your left arm above the head.
Do it now before reading further.
...
Did it happen? how did it happen? was it you that decided to lift the arm or not, or it happened automatically as a result of reading instruction? is there an chooser, that is choosing to react or not?
Do this exercise through the day and see how this happens.
What did you notice?
Sending love.
Sahajatara
Hello Ilona ,
I've been thinking a lot about what moves my arm and I don’t really know. The body is separate from thought but a thought can somehow cause the body to move. though mostly the body does its own thing. There is some link between mind and body but I don’t understand what that is.
My ex-partner / maybe still partner (it’s a bit complicated . . .) Narinda was with me today and we talked a lot about it. I said I thought it could be said that I was awareness. He kept saying 'but what’s that? ' and I eventually said it was part of life.
It can’t be possible that everything else is a manifestation of life except for me, yet I do still feel separate.
Narinda is going to your day on Saturday, he's really keen.
So everything that I am, thought, feeling, body and even awareness is all just part of life? I don’t feel it, but the thought comes to me.
Hope you are well, Love,
Sahajatara.
Ilona
Jun 6
> Hello Ilona ,
I've been thinking a lot about what moves my arm and I don’t really know.
The key here is not to think about it but take a fresh look. This process is not about thinking or understanding mentally, but having a look for yourself.
> the body is separate from thought but a thought can somehow cause the body to move. though mostly the body does its own thing. There is some link between mind and body but I don’t understand what that is.
Is mind separate from body or is it all one system?
> It can’t be possible that everything else is a manifestation of life except for me, yet I do still feel separate.
It is only a thought - I am separate from life- that makes it appear that there is a separate self. Is there separation without thought about it? Look around now, can you find anything separate?
When you listen to a distant sound, is there a boundary between here and there? Is there a separate listener to a sound? If so, can hearing the sound be switched off? Can you not hear it by choice?
Sahajatara
Jun 6
Hello Ilona, hope you are ok. I'm not sure if I'm getting anywhere or not. I am trying to look all the time 'who is doing this ? '  'how does this happen? 'I think I am beginning to see intellectually that 'I' do not 'own' life, it can’t possibly be that there is an I separate from the flow. Still this is just thought and I am not sure how to get it to go deeper.am I going the right way Ilona ?
With Love, Sahajatara.
Ilona
Jun 7
Hi Sahajatara.
Sorry, sometimes I don't answer straight away, but it does not matter, this is your process, so keep writing to me whenever you feel like.
> Hello Ilona, hope you are ok. I’m not sure if I’m getting anywhere or not
How about- there is nowhere to get. Nothing new to see then what is already present.
> I am trying to look all the time 'who is doing this ? '
There is no who. It's just a construct of language. Question who assumes an entity, a doer, there is none. So don't ask this question. Instead ask- is there anyone/ anything doing the looking or it's just happening?
Is there anyone that washes dishes, takes shower, or it's just happening by itself?
Is there anything that is not just happening on automatic?
Watch how actions happen. Scratch follows itch. Action- reaction. Are you in control of what is coming up?
>  'how does this happen? 'I think I am beginning to see intellectually that 'I' do not 'own' life ,it can’t possibly be that there is an I separate from the flow.
Yes. And even in the times when it seems that flow is blocked, that too is part of flow.
> Still this is just thought and I am not sure how to get it to go deeper.am I going the right way Ilona
There is no wrong way.  You are on a ride and it's taking you where it's taking you.  :) trust that all is as it should. No matter what thoughts say.
Much love.
Sahajatara.
Jun 10 
Dear Ilona ,
hope you are well. Just to say that I continue with my reflections and my gratitude.
Today I am seeing more actions as automatic, big long chains of events leading to actions rather than instantaneous decisions. Making dinner caused by pain in stomach leading rest of self to go into kitchen, not really an original decision.
I dreamt two nights ago that the world was a flow of energy and color without beginning or end and I was totally one with it. It disappeared on waking, but I think the looking is going deeper.
Lots of love 

Ilona
Jun 11
Sounds like an amazing dream. Yes the mind is processing this even while you sleep.
Instantaneous decisions happen as conditions are ripe. It's all one movement. 
Here is an exercise for you. Do it and then write to me, what you have noticed. http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/labels.html?m=1
Sending love. 
..........................
> Hello Ilona ,
> I didn't have my boy here last night so woke up able to spend time reflecting. Thank you for helping me. I did the exercise. My findings as follows
> It didn’t seem that the 2nd exercise was truer than the 1st, just different, the first exercise ,using I ,had more feelings present, the 2nd exercise was a lot less descriptive ,using words like 'sensation' rather than 'I feel my leg against the settee ' .
> I think I ought to say the 2nd exercise felt truer, I’m sure that is the right answer, but my experience was more that the 1st exercise did indeed contain a lot more about 'I ',a lot more abstract thoughts and more feelings .
> Not sure why it went like that. Not sure why they both feel true.
> Feel bit stupid. So what’s that ?who feels stupid ?who has the feeling of being stupid ? That verdict is based in habit ,that is one of my 'default settings' to feel stupid. It doesn’t have to be generated by a separate self .
If there is no self, no I, then how can you be stupid? How can you ever fail?
There is no separate self, there are habits, patterns of thought and behaviour. See if you can choose what habits to have, is it in your control? Then how had you be stupid?
> Perhaps if I had included more feeling responses in the 2nd exercises it would have been better ? Yes it would have been. I think I got into feeling like no self meant not allowed any subjective experience. Though I guess there is no subject to have that experience heh ?
There is no right or wrong answer here, all I ask you is to look and report with what feels true to you.
> Do labels effect the experience ? Yes to some extent the labelling ,for me, seemed to shut down a more creative or intuitive or poetical faculty .not shut it down, but sort of stop it quickly. Bringing in the labelling seemed to stop the process of experiencing a thing totally openly.
Good noticing,  you can focus on labelling or sense experiencing.
> Does that shutting down of pure experience then I wonder apply to labelling my experience ' I ' ? Probably.
> Also, was I just trying to suppress the thought of ' I ' by trying to stay in the present moment ,rather than not finding ' I ' ?
Now I want to see how you did the exercise, can you write a bit here in both ways. I get it that you don't quite get it, here. Let’s see closer.
> I suppose if ' I ' is something that can be suppressed with thought ,it can’t be the same as the thing that’s having the thought ?
> So if I is not the senses but a combination of them filtered by awareness ,where does awareness dwell ?in my head ?it is at one with whatever is going on, singing, dancing, seeing. Does it exist without having any objects to be at one with ? Is I in that case 'receptivity '?
> So , I continue to tie myself in knots as you see.
At some point start answering questions, honestly and as you see it now. Without looking up what someone else says.
> Is there a me behind the word me ? Things exist without their labels . I could still exist without labelling it I . I still feel separate .
I feel separate is just a thought.
Take a look, is there a sensation of separateness? What is separate from what in the view? In the hearing, test it with senses. Is there an experience to which experience is happening?
Where is the line between experiencer and experienced?
> my whole life I look for this and now can’t understand it.
> You said before 'is there separation without thought of separation ? '  there’s not very much of anything without thought about it .there’s much more to everything I perceive if I add thought to the perception. But that’s objectively existing phenomena ,the self is not an objectively existing phenomena apparently .
Look at mind as labelling machine.  See how it works in action.  Look around the room and notice objects. See how labelling follows focus and stories pop up in the head (in imagination as images)
Can you say, that it is you that adds labelling or it's happening automatically?
> I can’t get beyond 'I ' is awareness of the other senses, plus the collective unconsciousness.
> This is all thought .without thought of I there is no I but without thought of tree ,tree still exists even though I'm not aware of it. No ,that doesn't make sense. Standing in front of tree it enters awareness. I presumably am standing close to I because I say I is within me. yet without thought of it is can’t be experienced.
Yes, it can.  With senses.  Touch, see, hear the tree, can you touch, see, hear self?
There is something that can be experienced when you stand in from of a tree.  Can separate self be experienced? Other than thought about it?
> But tree is visual ,awareness is not ,I could be taken  apart and not find it .but the same is true of Love ?that can’t be objectively found either, but it is real ?
> I feel stupid. Narinda already understands ! Typical : )
> much Love .
What is that sees the tree? Don't just think about that, take a look.
Sending love. 
Sahajatara
June 14

Hello Ilona, I've been thinking a lot about your reply.


Today I and Narinda talked a lot about no self, and he helped me explore one of my strongholds of self, directed thought: I found it hard not to see directed thinking as self. But Narinda and me explored that view and found that a whole chain of causality lies behind our so called 'decisions', or as you put it 'instantaneous decisions happen as conditions are ripe, or how Narinda put it "we THINK we are making 'decisions' but in fact there's a whole chain of events leading up to it". The other thing I've been reflecting on is 'it is only a thought -I am separate from life- that makes it appear that there is a separate self. Is there separation without thought about it? '


'Is there a sensation of separateness? What is separate from what?'

Ok, so no, there is no sensation of separateness; thinking is what abstracts me from the picture.
I am not sure what would be there without the endless thinking, I think lot as you know :-)
I can see how mind works as labelling machine and computer. Conversation can be like that, the exchanging of similar stories or chains of related information. That is what we call 'mind reactive' .The opposite of that is 'mind creative' or what I call directed thought. And now I see that even 'mind creative' is still not self!
However, it still feels like there's something in me that is me. My mind is still thinking there is something dwelling within the body that is me.

Its interesting, earlier on I felt that located in my head, around the left hand side behind that eye, and so I closed my eyes to see if losing the sense of sight would lead to the sense of self being located away from the eye ,which it did. When I closed my eyes my awareness sort of relocated to where my arm was around my body, where sensation was basically.


You asked 'is there an experiencer to which experience is happening?' I would say there is awareness of experience and that awareness is self. Ah we already been here heh ?


You asked 'what is it that sees a tree? Don't just think about that, take a look'

So I look at the yucca here, v. tall. Well, it's the eyes that see the tree, and the feelings sort of respond, the light through the leaves arouses the heart somehow. So that experience was through sight and feeling and, body too, it effect how I breathe to see beauty. Did that experience depend on self, on awareness? I'm no longer sure. Perhaps the eye and the heart are their own kinds of awareness.

I'm not sure why 'awareness ' isn't self. I experienced it though moving location, a generalized urge towards having sense experience. What is it having the urge towards sense experience? The senses. and 'having experiences doesn't mean there is 'someone' separate from the experiences. Like the experiences have me more than I have them, totally passive. What is it that's totally passive? Awareness.


My thought gets stuck on this passive awareness being self.

Do you still want to see how I did labelling exercises? My hand hurt for now from typing on phone.
Love and appreciation, Sahajatara.

Ilona 
Jun 14

Hi Sahajatara,


Thank you for answer.

You say "My mind is still thinking there is something dwelling within the body that is me."
Can you ask your mind directly to take a look if there is a me dwelling inside the body. Write to me what comes up.

By passive awareness, do you mean a watcher? Witness?


Sending love.



Sahajatara

Jun 14

Hey Ilona : )

you ask me to directly take a look with my mind if there is a me dwelling inside the body.
I have not found a me dwelling inside the body, no. I am not even sure what a me is anymore : )

I have found that awareness, the part of me that KNOWS I experience sight or hearing , is what I call self, it isn't a thing, it just is. Without SOMETHING to know that experience is happening, surely we wouldn't know we were even alive? I think 'awareness' is what I call 'me'. But then I guess I say 'I am sad ', and awareness can't BE sad, it can only know that sadness is present. I wouldn't say 'awareness is sad now' I'd say 'there is awareness of sadness'.


Awareness, yes like a witness or watcher I suppose.

Much Love.

Ilona

Jun 14

Ok, now take a look if awareness is personal. Does it belong to you?


What is the function of witness?

Is there a witness or is there witnessing happening? Is there a gap between the two?

What feels true at this moment?


Sending love.


Sahajatara

Jun 14

Hello Ilona,

I'd say that no, awareness doesn't belong to anyone or anything, it just IS.
I don't really know what it's function is; it knows that experience is happening. No, maybe it doesn't 'know' it; maybe it just does witness it.
I guess it would be as true to say there is witnessing as to say there is a witnesser. hmm, now I think about that it would be more true to say there is witnessing then to describe awareness as 'a witness.'
Hmm. . . .
Love

Jun15


Hello, it's me again.or perhaps not : ) I think I'm getting it ! Where I'm at now, I can see awareness as witness isn't present, only witnessing. Same would apply to where I might have gone next, imagination as self, the same would be true -there is no imaginer, imagining is happening. Its pretty miraculous really. I'm having to keep reminding myself though, getting caught back up in my habitual response.
Yes its definitely working on me now though l.o.l : )
Thank you Ilona so much. My boy coming home now, wonder how it'l be with him 'irritation is happening' I guess . . .love is happening too. That's mysterious.
Have a great day Ilona, with Love Sahajatara
Hello Ilona, yes I'm ready for the final questions.

I am so incredibly grateful to you - Thank you.
Love Sahajatara

Ilona
Jun15

Yes, there is aware witnessing, no entity-witnesser. Good noticing!

Take a close look now, what is not effortless?
What is not just happening by itself?
What is there that needs to remember?

Sending love.

Sahajatara
jun15

Hello Ilona ,
I think that everything is happening as chains of events, by itself.
What is there that needs to remember ?

I don't know. Memories arise. Like when I google something and it comes up with a close match, or maybe something only slightly similar, but its just a 'matching' process.
Hmm, I'm wondering now again about synchronicity, about what is happening when things are sort of 'magical'. 

Back to the question, what is there that needs to remember, I don't know! Feelings and thoughts, the desire to re experience a thing? It sort of seems less important than it did, without my having a strong desire to find or prove a self that was having experiences previously.

Who needs to remember? I don't know! A sudden memory, this old house we use to visit, it had no roof, big old house with gardens. Possibly a metaphor for emptiness of self? Or just random, down to there being some aliveness in my heart so the computer throws up memory of a time I felt awake and alive. It was pleasant, sad and pleasant. Those are just feelings and thoughts.
Sending Love.


Sahajatara
Jun18

Hello Ilona, I'm pretty sure I'm through the gate unless I'm missing something big. Since Friday eve, since you asked if there was a witness or witnessing, that seemed to break the self belief. What is still there, habits /flows of energy. Some pretty much the same, sing, cry watching film, try to learn electric guitar, find son tiring etc Some things are altered already, i.e. deeply held clinging to the romantic myth, that somewhere there is 'someone' who will make me feel whole. Clearly there aren't any 'someones' and there isn't a me to be complete etc etc

My habitual responses still kick in first, irritated, jealous etc but when I check, there isn't a me there to be irritated and it moves on faster. Earlier I sensed nihilism kick in, that was when I realized the emptiness of the romantic myth, that's been such a strong driving force in my life. Anyway,rambling now.
I hope you are well and happy Ilona. Lots of Love Sahajatara

Ilona 
Jun 18

Hi sahajatara

So great to hear that seeing happened. Well, this is just a first baby step in the journey of awakening and yes, there is much more to see and explore. Seeing that I isn't and never was is a beginning of deconstruction of all beliefs that no longer serve. So it may be intense at times and smooth at other times..
Are your ready for the final questions? If not, is there anything else you want to look at?

Sending love.

Sahajatara
Jun19

Hello Ilona, yes I'm ready for the final questions.
I am so incredibly grateful to you - Thank you.
Love Sahajatara

Ilona 
Jun 19

Delighted to hear that!


And here they are :)

Please answer in full, when ready. No rush at all.

Much love.


Sahajatara

Jun 20

Dear Ilona, hello : )

Let me answer those now

1. There is no self, me or I, at all, in any form and there never was.


2. The illusion of the separate self consists of attributing thought, feeling, etc to a separate entity that somehow resides in the body and controls thought, decision making, etc. That which we call 'I' is when looked at closely seen to be a combination of senses i.e. thought plus emotion, touch plus thought etc plus awareness. None of theses things are static; they are all a flow, actions and reactions feeding back on each other at lightning speed.

This idea of 'I' is learned in childhood, also there's a negative i instilled too which is the root of much irrational guilt.


3. It was funny and not hugely important when I first saw it, just laughed and then went out flyering for obscure American musician I'm into. There was straight away a different vibe though, I felt sort of free and I hung around pavilion gardens in the dark on my own, people with sound system, me just sort of content to exist.

Then I was slightly disappointed that it wasn't more dramatic, life carried on, but then some things began to unravel. Fortunately not the climate change work or the singing:) but things that are more directly linked to bolstering up that unreal idea of self, and especially a positive self, i.e. the idea of finding another 'someone' who will be 'my' true love etc. i.e. complete me, convince me I'm real and that the self that I am is a good one. I felt quite depressed when I saw that, a lot of my life's energy has been tied up with that particular thought. Though the thought of say, bumping into nick Cave etc still arises and the longing still arises and are convincing, once looked into they are seen to be empty of self. Strong impulses are coming and going .I'm amazed to experience such strong impulses and not be convinced enough to act on them.


Before this dialogue I had 'low self worth ' and now that is changing, there's noone there to not be good enough, there just 'is'. To be honest, I haven't had much of a chance to dwell in the new way of being, I've had my boy and that's always intense (he has aspergers) but even within that, I've been able to drop my irritation with him a lot quicker, though I've also been pretty cross with him at times I would normally have given in to him. All changing. I see his miracleness more, where did he come from?! Etc : ) I feel more love for him. I see the miracleness of myself too, the wonder at the life that is me. Feel less shy of 'my' talents, they are not mine! No need to feel bad to be good at something. No need to feel bad to be crap at something :)


4. The two last bits were: A conversation I had with Narinda about directed thinking, and why that couldn't be self. It seemed so much like an 'I'! 'I' was making decisions. When we really looked, we could see there were whole chains of causality behind each 'moment' of decision. That really affected me strongly.

Then all I was left with really was 'awareness', awareness must be 'I' because it is always there, unchanging.

And you said to me 'is there a witness or is witnessing happening?' and that sort of pulled the plug on the self view, and it hasn't been able to take a hold again since.

5. No, I do not make anything happen, it just happens. I'm still getting use to this though; there is a habit to think the thoughts of self until they are investigated.


6. What is still there is very strong habits and not all of them are nice, felt quite scared of the anger/hatred in me when saw it as a sort of 'force' in the universe that wants its existence. Relief to feel not incomplete. Pain is there, sorrow, etc, but not incompleteness. Possibly this is the greatest change, the endless endless searching done. Now more work! I would love to come to one of your meeting sometime. Also new tattoo? I got my first in December, a heart with wings that says Rock n' Roll, I haven't thought it through but thinking flower left shoulder, wait till the idea takes its proper form though. It took me a year to work out the other one.


Ilona, I am so deeply moved by the work you are doing. I cant tell you how hard I've tried over the years, endless fucking retreats for years  ; ) I reckon, I've been trying to solve this question most of my life. I felt like I would never wake up; never see it, always so much pain and causing pain to those I love through the desire to be a self, to not have the self harmed.


I've kind of gone on ...Ilona, I can never repay you for this, I know you don't want to be repaid of course, and what you have done for me is priceless anyway. Now love can happen, real love that doesn't seek anything in return. Oh, I have to send you a clip from the film the tree of life which maybe can thank you better then me ' it expresses what I aspire to, which maybe now I can begin to move towards. Thank you.
Much love Sahajatara

Ilona 

Dear Sahajatara

Thank you very much for answers! It was delight to read them. I'm very happy for you.

Yes, the search is over, but it does not mean that work is finished, hehe. Work caries on, as all these old patterns and habits are still here, they will become up to be looked at and released.

There is a clean up time, falling, integration. The shift may appear small, but is very deep and this seeing is now available any time.. Still there are challenges ahead, but there is openness too and ok-iness with whatever is happening.  There is freedom to experience anger and intense emotions without feeling that it's wrong.

Yes, I would love to do a tattoo for you! When you are ready…


Thank you for the clip, beautiful......


I would love to invite you to Facebook groups to join community, where you can share with others and get support when needed. Could I put our conversation on the blog? I can take all details that you do not wish to share out and change the name, if you wish so.

Then my other friends guides can ask questions; if they have any and I can get you join the groups.

Much love to you!


Sahajatara

Dear Ilona ,
Thank you again. It always very uplifting to hear from you.
Feel free to put the conversation on blog .
I know this is incredible, but I don't do facebook and never have! Yeah I know its weird :-) I have an account that a musician set up in my name when he set up music page, but I've never used it.

Much Love to you dear Ilona :-)

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