Monday, 5 August 2013

It's a Relief To Know That Thoughts Are Only Thoughts

This was a long conversation, so I edited it and left the beginning, some emails from the middle of process and the end. This woman had an interesting life and was on a journey for many years. I was totally delighted to read her last emails. 

Hi, Ilona

I think I need your help.
A lot has happened to me....somehow...and I feel a bit lost in it.

Apr 14

Sure.. What is coming up for you?
What are you noticing?

Apr 14

You have to excuse my English, I'm from Denmark.
I have worked with "your technique" for some months.
In the beginning it was quite refreshing. It was very nice for me to work with dropping my attachment to my past to try to let go of it, let go of "my story", the pain I have been facing the last couple of years around my story ect.

Hm....but now it is as if something very corelike has happened. It's like I'm totally hollow inside. I have felt that for a while.... a little month or something or two - three weeks.

I feel I'm falling to pieces. I have been watching for what purpose this core was, when I felt it. I used it to plan things, to be the active planner of my day for instance. I also used this core to somehow get me on my feet, planning what to do, when I felt a little low and so. I used for structuring my day, my week etc.
It's not there this core any more in the middle of my being,'s crazy.

The good thing is, that i have a lot of friends, here where I live, who are there for me.
I have been a disciple of Osho for 29 years. I'm 57 in two months.
My whole grown up life, since 1982, I have been with Osho.
I live close to a meditation center, my boyfriend, whom I have been with for almost two years, has also been around Osho since he was 17. He is now 51.

I never married, got children ect. because I didn't live an ordinary life.

My spiritual journey started when I was 13.

Love from Life

Apr 15

Hi Life,
Thank you for email.

It may feel hollow for a while, but there never was a core.  It feels weird in the beginning, but the core was just a habitual thought, that I, me is the centre  which organizes and does things.

Life is free flowing and it's ok to retire from assumed position of the general manager.  It was pretended anyway.

So structures, that were based on assumptions are melting away, falling of, it's ok, by surrendering to this process you walk the path of least resistance. If you try to hold on to ideas, it will only create tension and sooner or later you will still need to let go.

The sensations of falling to pieces are part of disillusionment process. And that too is ok. System is being rewired, adjusted, stuff that is no longer needed is dropping, while stuff that is working keeps falling into place. It's quite a process.  For some it's gentle, for some it's full on intensive burning. It doesn't matter though, how it is for someone else, trust that all that is happening is right for you at this moment.  :)

So what exactly happened? Can you say that it's clear - the separate self is an illusion?

Much love.

Apr 29

Hi again

Actually I think all is interesting.
Also the psychological part and the conditioning.
Because it has made me the way I am facing the things I have been facing through my life, and getting the fear diagnosis I am still carrying around.
What to do?

I don't care much if there is an I, which means I'm not up to speculating too much about this I or not.

The false I, the claiming I, which I heard Advaita Wayne talk about today, it is interesting. Because that I seem to be the whole problem.

And it is a bit interesting, because that claiming I seem to think it has magical powers. And it is the same with OCD. It is also magic thinking....that if I do this and that, I can prevent disaster to happen..........

Thank you Ilona.

Apr 30

Yes, the core belief that there is this I, a separate entity that owns life and is in control of what is happening is at the root of all problems.

See through this illusion and the rest will start falling off.

Much love.

Apr 16

Hi Ilona,

I am very happy receiving your loving email because I was worrying and not at ease.
Now I can relax more, go for, maybe even enjoy, the ride and watch my new state of being.

It feels good. I can even slightly feel that there is a new joy revealing itself in the bottom of my belly.
I feel very grateful and touched.
Thank you :-)

Maybe there is also popping a bit of sadness up in saying goodbye to the "I"...which have been travelling with me for a lifetime. What can I do? Bow down to this "I" and say: thank you, you served me more than enough, but now we have to split.
I'm a bit overwhelmed.
I will use the coming days watching in my daily life.

Much love

L: Hi again :-)

I feel no separate self.
I feel my mind all the time is trying to wander away...sort of ahead of me....but something in me is every time calling it back. It's sort of fun.

I: What is the I that feels no separate self?
Is there an I at all in any shape or form in reality, an I that has a mind?

L: There is a sort of stubbornness inside me calling this wandering mind back all the time. I'm not doing just happens. The mind wander, and it is called back.....what to do? :-)

I: It's all happening on automatic, or not?

L: I feel good. I feel like a heavy load has gone. A load of resistance.
It was before like I had a lot of resistance towards most things, and when I did things, I often thought it would have been better if I did something else. It was like a desperation. Like I was never satisfied in the moment.

When I did something, I always thought I should do something else. Like for instance if I was cleaning my house, I hardly had any energy for it, because I was always thinking, that it would be better to go for a walk or something. It was like I could not rest in the things I did. I always thought I should have done or should do something else. It was difficult to feel satisfaction in the here and now.

I:  So glad to hear about heaviness lifting. :)

L: I'm better now, thanks to you and your concept.
I have been training for some months.
In the beginning, I trained to let go of my story.

I have for almost fours years been taking care of my old mother, and that is not and has not been easy for me, because we have had a very bad and tough relationship my whole life.
So I had, since she got ill and no longer could take care of herself, to sort of face my whole story again. All the pain, fear, hate, disappointment and anger from the past...hers and has been very tough (she is an alcoholic).

I simply had to let go of the past, because it was killing my present with her, and also my present with myself....making me sick.
In the beginning I had to do it like an active choice, telling myself, that I had to let go of all this anger towards my mother. And after a while I felt the letting go. I feel like crying right now. It has been so tough, there has been so much pain.

After that letting go, I focused on this separate self.
Maybe I was a bit hard on myself, because I was not only investigating if there was a separate self or not, I was also telling myself that there is no I!

I: Well, there is no I.
Is that clear or there is still something hanging there believing that there is? Does anything feel threatened by the thought that I does not exist?

L: I don't remember when the feeling of being hollow inside arose. But I must have felt it for around three weeks or something. It was not a nice feeling, because I didn't know if it was how it was supposed to be. I felt sort of being in an unpleasant void. And it was like I couldn't go back. I was simply hollow a bamboo or like two columns with an empty space in between.

I: Yeah, I know the feeling.
And all we are used to do is cover up this sense of emptiness with whatever we can, so it would not be felt.

Tell me now, is there a centre, a core, to which life is happening?

L: During that state I was also very fragile and over-sensitive, like falling to pieces.

Then I contacted you, and told you I needed your help.
And here we are :-)

I send you much love and gratefulness Ilona!

I: Thank you!

L: I don't know if I am I?

I: Well, if you don't know, then no, not yet.

Is there an I that can be 'done'?
Do you exist?

L: I don't know. Things have to settle, I guess :-)
Much love.

Apr 24

Hi Ilona.
Thank you for being so loving.

First I want to say, that even if my life is busy these days with many other things, than talking to you, and I in between "disappear" a bit from our talk, when I get involved in relationship matters ect., it feels like many things are happening inside on a deep level anyway. So I hope, it is ok for you, that your work with me takes the time it takes.

Sometimes I'm also in a distracted space  with myself, where it is difficult for me to focus and to feel grounded.
So is it ok, that I don't stress up about and push our conversation and writing to you and let it take it's own time?

Much love,

Many things are also happening on a psychological level. I don't know if my relationship will be one of the things falling away. It is as if becoming what I really am is challenging the pleaser in me and bringing out more authenticity.

You are asking:

What is the I that feels no separate self?
Is there an I at all in any shape or form in reality, an I that has a mind?

I don't know right now.
I'm a bit down right now, stressed out and ungrounded.

But I felt some hours ago walking to the gym, that walking is good. Moving the body makes me feel less "I" and more beingness.

And right now I feel a bit more loving energy inside connecting with you. Sacred.

Maybe it is the jumping from I-ness to beingness.
Maybe the beingness is more sacred than the I-ness. And when I'm lost in this I-ness with all it's problems, tensions, needs and urge to plan things and sort them out, I get ungrounded,
uncentered and confused.
When I am in that confused state, I sort of wait till it is gone. It can take days, maybe just a few hours, maybe a nights sleep.....I never know for sure.

Lots of love for now.

Hi :-)

You are asking:

What is this I that is stressed? How to find it? Where is it hiding?

What is stressed is the I, who wants to keep it all together.
The I who thinks or fears that things are getting to much, to overwhelming.
The I who thinks she needs to be on her own to contemplate and find herself.

Where is this I hiding and how to find it?

Thats a good question :-)

It is hiding in the fearful thinking. Even if I, when I think about it, think, I can feel I'm not the thinking, but the thinker (I'm just honest here :-)), it feels like this fearful I, who cannot really cope with the situation, is somehow hiding in that bloody thinking.

The thinking saying this is to much, I cannot manage, it's to overwhelming, I need to be on my own and find myself and my inner peace.
It is almost like a sickening headache. This overheated mind machine thinking like hell, making hell.


I some times get a small glimpse of what you have been talking about, about what is real and what is thoughts, stories - often fearful - about reality. Stories, feelings and tensions around these stories, building up all the time.....
My mind is easily freaking out these days, getting overheated.....having to keep it all together....all in control......
What "all"? I do not really sexuality, my joy, my easygoingness.....?
Maybe......I don't really know......
There is some kind of protection story in it.......self-protection........hostility.......

Love :-)

Hi, Ilona.

Hope you are good and you are having or have had a nice trip.

I have been investigating a bit in this advaita thing today, which I didn't know anything about before I met you.


I listened to Wayne Liquorman explaining about this claiming "I" starting at the age of around 2½. It has really touched me.

What is in need to be protected?


I think some of my exaggerated fear comes from the war zone part of my childhood, growing up in an environment with to much alcohol and a lot of complaint, blame and fights.
I armored up myself, became f...... tuff and started blaming and fighting back.
Under that armoring i apparently was scared to death.......

And other traumatic things happened during my youth, which was not taken sufficient care of.
My cousin died in a car accident when we were both 16. She was like a twin sister to me just one month older.
It might be a part of my exaggerated fear conditioning, growing up in that war zone and meeting that kind of death in that age, not getting psychological help.

I guess though, that this might not be so is a part of my story.

What is interesting, is the seeing of this claming I, which thinks it is responsible for too much instead of relaxing and letting go and let life live itself in all it's forms. I'm not the boss of it anyway.
How could I even be so stupid thinking that.

I might though still have my fear driven compulsions to check things. My OCD.
My fear is about death, about aids, about getting kicked out of the Osho movement in the 80'ties, which happened to the people with HIV.
Osho and this movement was my survival at that time. I was almost on the edge of giving up life, when I met these people.

Namaste and much love
May 1

Hi Ilona,

I don't see anybody behind the fear, but does that mean that "fear" is totally gone? I'm not sure of that. And I'm not sure, that my OCD rituals are gone. They have stayed with me for so many years. If they go away it might be a falling over time (interesting if no-self can heal this OCD) and a miracle.

These days I never know what is gone and what is not gone, because everything is in a constant flux.

When I go inside and think on an "I", I don't see it. I just se my being from inside. Sometimes I feel filled up with a cool fulfilling emptiness. Sometimes there are inner tensions and impatience, which wants more life and body movement, energy which needs to live fully and get used.
The feelings "tension" and "anger" are more eager trying to claim the I.

I also don't se an I which needs to be protected.
But that doesn't mean, that I'm not into protecting and taking care of my life.
I feel very much joy and very much eagerness to live fully, and I can't hardly wait till the new nice things are going to happen (I'll be walking in the spring sunshine to water gymnastics after lunch today :))
Maybe I can make even the cleaning, I have to do this morning, exciting...who knows (hate it)

I love you so much Ilona, and tears of gratefulness are in my eyes.



Jun 14

Hi Ilona

I don't know what to write. It is as if a lot, more than enough :-) is allready written.

I have a question. The people who have passed the gate are they enlightened, have they really taken the leap or are they awakened or what it is called?

Two days ago I got a glimpse again...maybe the shortest but also the "biggest" the whole me....or my whole organism went into this other dimension behind it all.
It felt like no more tensions at all! Like a huge, huge letting go. No more bothering......nothing to tense up for.


Is there something I can do myself? Do you have any guidelines?
These days I'm a bit sick in my stomach and I'm still struggling with the deep cleaning process of my home, throwing old things, papers and documents out etc., getting more space and light.

Much love

Jun 14

hi Life ,

Passing through the gate is a first step. there is a lot more to explore and many more shifts to come. This is only a beginning, a fresh start. After crossing there is a whole clean up operation, all the old beliefs fall and more and more clarity is revealed. It's not what i would call enlightenment, but a first real step towards it.
Shinzen Young has a nice way to explain it

Huge letting go is a clear sign that the process is full on. What can be done? Notice what is happening as it is happening and pay attention to tensions, look, what is behind them.

can you say that it is clear, that i is an illusion?

sending love.

Jun 15

Hi Ilona

Thank you very much for this Shinzen Young.
Very nice and interesting :-)

Yes the I is an the most, it is a thought.

The I which was felt as an incorporated entity left my body even before I wrote you the first time, as I wrote in the beginning of our correspondence.

The final real seeing of the I only as a thought without any substance, that comes and goes because of old thinking patterns, happened eleven days ago, the 4th of June, which I also wrote you in a maybe too short sentence.

And thank you for the "notice what is happening as it is happening and pay attention to tensions, look, what is behind them".
It is right and good to remember. It is always a here and now thing which has to be dealt with in the moment.

And sorry if the "which I also wrote you" sounds stupid. It is not meant like that.
I'm full of love and gratitude for this entire voyage with you and your big great team :-)


Jun 15

Beautiful. Good to hear that the I is no longer seen as an entity.

How does it feel to see this? Has anything changed since we started this conversation?
Is there anything separate from life?

Much love.

Jun 18

Hi Ilona

Yes, things have changed.

First, when I contacted you I felt lost, because the feeling of the body-connected-I-identity was gone. I didn't know how to deal with this feeling hollow inside and your guidance helped me telling me I was on the right track ;-)

Furthermore it is also a relief to know that thoughts are only thoughts.

There is no need to identify with them, to believe in them, to get stuck in any of them, to fight with them or to fight them. And speculations about how to solve the problems they try to create are also loosing their power....

which leaves energy and space to live life in the moment.

Thank you Ilona

Much love

Jun 19

That sounds beautiful, Life, the space to live life in the moment.  Sounds that you found home.
Can you say, that you are ready for the final questions? If not, then what else can we look at?

Sending love.

Jun 19

Hi Ilona

Yes...homecoming is happening as an ongoing deepening process....sometimes slow, sometimes faster.
Sometimes there are the old familiar holding back patterns, sometimes there is not.
The flow opening seems vast, I'm right now just here at the beginning, looking into???
The feeling of gratitude is also vast...the same vastness.
Worries can also come up. Everything can come up. It is thoughts amongst other thoughts.

You can ask me questions.

Sending love
Hi Ilona

Thank you for these questions :-)

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

There is not and has never been a separate entity of self.

Until this process started there was a belief in a separate entity, physically felt as a centering and a core feeling, which claimed the "I'm getting up, I'm doing this and that, I have to do my best to make sure that this and that will happen, I have to conduct the things in the right direction ect".When the questioning of this I feeling and the doubt of it's existence started, it disappeared and there was just space and nothingness left inside. Like a hollow bamboo.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now. 

The feeling of the separate self is as if there is a little muscular and hard working struggler and fighter inside.

Like a little busy person running around and trying to make it all work from a perspective of fear and danger as if a lot is about life and death. This little person often feels overloaded with a feeling of responsibility and guilt about lack of ability to do the job in a proper and spotless way.

Now the perspective has grown bigger. Things are happening....people are happening....little people are happening...even my way of "little" thinking is happening....but it doesn't stick to this "I" feeling anymore. It is like clouds coming and going. And even if feelings and thoughts can be felt as painful, things are more easygoing.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

More lightness have taken over and a much broader and bigger sense of being.

The process of loosing the "I" identity have some times not been easy, like loosing an identification with something  thought as being strong and stable to hold on to.

What is gained is filled with gratitude and awe. A sense of being freed from the hard work and the limiting boundaries of the "I" having to interfere with everything and the ability to float, life living itself.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look? 

Maybe"Ingen Findes" gave me the last push the fourth of july on "Skandinavisk LU".

After that, time has been needed to make it settle. The overheated mind had to relax and let go of this intense "Is there an I" question. In that relaxation it became clear.

5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

There is no "me" as a separate core feeling doing, controlling, choosing the events in life or making things happen. There is a brain, intelligence, what ever it can be called which is able to navigate.

6) Anything to add?

Thank you Ilona for your loving and patient guidance.
Are there any groups which can be joined to support and deepen the process?

Much love............

Jul 30

Hi Life ,

It was delightful to read your answers. I'm very happy for you. Big smile :))

Can you tell me what changed in your relationships, how do you see now, is anything noticeably different?

I normally put conversations on my blog, then other guides can ask questions if they have any, if not, I invite you to join lu groups.

Would it be ok with you to put parts of our conversation? I can use whatever name you like.

Much love! Yey!

Jul 31

Hi Ilona,

Thank you

You are very welcome to put parts of our conversation in your blog. You can call me Life (just came to me) :-) (if this name is not already used)

I would also like to join after gate groups for support, inspiration and company.
As you told me after gate is just the beginning, and I feel in a sort of an "insight" phase....or whatever it can be called.
Also the main part of the friends I spend my time with are on different spiritual paths, but I'm the only one on this LU path.

If things have changed in my

It is all still very new and not easy to describe yet because of its freshness.....maybe I'm more myself....and others. It can...seen from a dualistic point of view....both look "bad" and "nice".
However it looks, there is no choice...just integration, balancing and this empty space...and it feels great....being in a balancing period....if that is what is happening.
No angel/no devil? No good/no bad? I don't know :-)

Delightedness shared

Much love :-)

Jul 31

:) thank you Life . I will put this up as soon as I can, may take a few days as I have another couple to do as well.

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