Monday, 11 February 2013

A Fierce Request From Portugal

Nov 30

Dear Ilona,
I am so excited to write you! I am so fortunate to have found you!
I've been a seeker since I was 15 or so (I'm now 36) when I went to
the movies and saw "Little Buddha". Since then the word
"Enlightenment" was a bug that started to eat me up little by little.
An obsession! I read every book you can think of, of several
traditions and cultures, I listened to almost every Satsang teacher
available in the internet.

Had several "awakenings", with a lot of fear in the mix ( felt that
"I" didn't know if I was dead or alive since suddenly I felt I didn't
exist - THAT made me feel real terror, since I felt I was dying...
Before that, some years ago, I had a talk in skype with a teacher:
when he asked me what was this I , I just freezed, I noticed there was
absolutely NOTHING! But I wasn't mature enough... it didn't last and I
went back to the same "I".

Nowadays I have been stuck and quitting of all search, with no more
motives to keep listening to the same stuff over and over again, with
no more hope, sad.

But about 3 days ago I watched your interview in the Buddha at The Gas
Pump, went to the LU site, read the book Gateless Gatecrashers, went
through most of your blog.. and guess what: I'M ON FIRE!!!! Once again
I feel alive and want to be free! I just couldn't believe how many
people are actually waking up with you amazing work!

Please work with me! I want you to be my guide and help me to get
through the gate.

I'll be waiting for your reply anytime you can work with me, thank you so much!
Love, Cristiana

Good morning Ilona,
Thank you for responding so quickly, I truly appreciate it.
I'm here typing these words without knowing what to say next. It's
difficult to put all these things into words... So, let's see what it
comes out... I'll try to answer your questions the best I can.

1. What do you expect that happens when you wake up? I expect that all suffering falls away completely and I become free to
be in the flow of what i truly am, without resisting Life, my true
Nature... Yesterday I read somewhere that "God is dreaming S/He is not
God": is this true? What I truly am is God? That "I" as a separate
entity do not exist? I can see that there is no "I" to be found but it
doesn't feel real yet, only an intellectual understanding...

2. What is awakening going to give you? Hopefully it is going to give me an Infinite Love for everyone and everything, true compassion and supreme understanding of how
everything works without thinking about it but just Knowing IT, SEEING
IT with all my heart, and acting accordingly.

3. What you do not want it to be like. I hope i remain functional in society. I don't want my awakening to be a division between "me" and "other people". I just wrote this but I
have no idea what it means!!! Maybe you will know what I mean...

Thank you so much, Ilona! I so much appreciate your help. I'm here
with you with all my being.

how does it feel to leave the expectations behind?
I had to read your email several times for it to sink in.

Yes, I am ready to leave all expectations behind, except there is sill a resistance when you say I am not God: but isn't everything God? isn't God all there is? How about when they say " I am THAT" ?
These questions are coming up because, even though I've seen there is nothing behind the "I", I still somehow believe that I am an I.

Also, when you say "no, no no,. there is no you at all as in zero. i does not exist in reality."
I feel a bit frustrated and a bit sceptic... Am I just a puppet in the hands of Awareness? And what is this Awareness, what is this indivisible One Life? Isn't It my SELF? I want to know THIS more than

So Yes, I am completely ready to go beyond any doubts that may come up
and are still inside, and move on with our investigation. More than
anything I want the Truth, I really want to know what IT IS! And I
trust you completely, so let's go! Let's go for IT!

P.S. when you say:

before we can proceed further, I need you to leave all expectations just
here. Nothing that you expect is going to be like you expect. You will be
taking a fresh look at what is already obvious.

Seeing does not change the seen. Same way like you can not change the
reflection in the mirror.
I feel like I know nothing and that makes me feel insecure: like, will
I ever get THIS? Will I pass through the gate?
I trust YOU, what I don't trust is myself. Will I have the capacity to
truly SEE all the way through?

Much gratitude for your patience and for you being here with

100 or so emails later...


How is it going Cristiana?

Hehe, of course you can not find a sense of separation as it does not exist.  How can you feel separation, it is just a thought about it and this is what I wanted you to see.  You can imagine stuff and feel it as real, but when you look, there is nothing there, never was.

The quickest way out of the box is seeing that there is no box.  There is nothing to heal or release. And when stuff comes up it is here to be noticed. If you get into the story and try to release, look again- what is there that owns all this conditioning, where is the sticky point?

Write to me.
Much love.

Jan 10

Hi Ilona,
How is it going? I really don't know. I seem to be inside a dream, not
being able to wake up... I am here in front of this computer, not
knowing what to write to you... I feel very self-conscious when I'm
around people: yesterday I went out dancing and while I was dancing I
felt very uncomfortable at times, feeling observed all the time... If
I really saw through the me story then this wouldn't happen, right? I
would feel ok inside my skin, wouldn't I? It's as if there is a
witness always observing what is going on in my life and taking notice
when I don't know how to be around people... You ask me what is the
sticking point, well it seems to be my constant belief that I am this
character Cristiana, walking around through life, being myself, with
all my unique characteristics... It just seems unbelievable that the
other day I saw through it all and felt so happy about it and now I'm
here again, believing the story. Maybe the seeing didn't get deep
enough? I don't know what else to say so that I can help you to help
me... Have no idea what else to do but my desire to see through all
this is still here, I'm not giving up, so that's a good sign...

you know, I think I can put what I'm living into words: when I'm alone
everything sort of feels like it's flowing spontaneously, but when I'm
relating with people it is somewhat weird and uncomfortable because I
can see them playing roles and believing those roles unconsciously
(and so they seem to be free, not self-conscious)... when I feel the
opposite: I am extremely self-conscious about everything I do and say
to the point that I don't know what my role is supposed to be, making
me loose all spontaneity while relating with others, thus feeling
imprisoned in my own bodymind... Does this make any sense at all? do
you know what I'm saying?
I don't know if telling you this helps in this process or not, I hope
it does. It is just a conclusion from what I wrote in my previous

Maybe all that I'm trying to say in my 2 previous emails is that I am
not experiencing an undivided seeing, but there is a division: the
seer and the seen; the witness and what is witnessed. And while there
is this division in my experience, then I will always experience
conflict. Could this be it? that this division is the cause of my not
feeling ok while being with "others"? I wish I was in that state where
they say "there is no other"...
God, I just can't believe that it's been more than a month now with
this process and this tough nut of myself just doesn't wanna crack
itself open! Your patience is just so admirable, Ilona!

Jan 10

I hear you, you see a gap between the seer and the seen. Look right there, is there a gap?

When sound is heard, is there a hearer and the heard or it can not be separated? Find out.

Is there a gap between witnesser, witnessing and witnessed?
Is there a gap between breather and breathing?

You think you are a character. Are you a character? Are you trapped in a story? Without though, is there a you, they, others?
Is there 'us', 'them'? What do you see?

As for my patience, thank you for sticking with this. The longest conversation I had was half a year, so one month or two, np. As long as this needs to take to play out, till there is shiny clarity.

Much love.

Jan 11

I see where you're getting at: this division being felt is because of
my identification with thoughts, isn't it? If I don't think I'm a
character, then there is no character, no being trapped in a story is
experienced. The feeling that there are others is when, for example, I
think "what are they thinking about me". If I don't think such
thoughts like that, then there is only experience. I can see that
separation is felt when I engage and prolong these thoughts like "are
they looking at me? I hope I'm causing a nice impression" or "I am
afraid I have nothing interesting to say"...I see how these chain of
thoughts stop me from having a spontaneous natural interaction with

I'm listening to sounds now and the hearer and the heard are happening
at the same time, but are they the same? Again if I identify with
thought "I am listening to this sound", then there is clearly
division, that it seems there are two things happening: a sound being
heard and the hearer of the sound. But if I just don't engage in any
thought and just hear the sound, then there is just listening,
hearing, no object and subject, but just a verb: an occurring, a
movement, an event.

Breather and breathing: I don't identify with the thought "I am this
body breathing", then there is just breathing, one action, one thing

So what now? where do I go from here? I will try to stay tuned to
whatever thought pops up in my mind and try to notice if I am
following it or not. And at the same time I will try to focus on aware
presence every time I remember? How should I look at my experience on a
daily basis so that I can get over this process as soon as possible? I
am so eager to end this process but I will try to take it easy and
just try to enjoy each moment as it comes...

Talk to you more tomorrow, goodnight and thank you for sticking around too :))

Jan 11

I read your email again and noticed the word "gap", I didn't pay close
attention to it the first time i read it.

>> Is there a gap between witnesser, witnessing and witnessed?
>> Is there a gap between breather and breathing?

No gap whatsoever! there is no gap. it is happening as one!
The supposed gap between "me and they" is more difficult to see as
illusion though, but I will try to keep seeing into it... It is easier
to see with objects than with people, I wonder why... maybe because
living moving objects as people seem to have a life of their own, as I
seem to have a life of my own... It is amazing how separation is so
ingrained in society... everywhere we look, there's the apparition of
separation: "me and you", "they and we"...

Jan 11

Bingo! There is no gap, nothing that life is happening to.

If you look closely what is moving people, are they all moving by their own free will? Independently from environment and each other?

Me and they are only in thoughts.
Without thoughts it's just movement, sensations, perceptions, life living itself.
You can only experience your own thoughts about what others think, it's your projection.  All that is going in imagination- images of self worth, "me and them".

There is only this, now-ness, sensations, perceptions, thinking, feeling, is-ing, being, experiencing. Thoughts about what is also happen in the now, but thoughts are not reality. Thoughts tell a story.

Is anything personal in life?
What makes something personal?

Lots of love.

Jan 11

The movements of people depend on what is happening in the environment
around them, so nothing is independent from anything, everything is
Thoughts are not reality, yes. They are just describing, labeling what
is happening, making up stories, stories that may not be true but just
interpretations of a fictional character in the story.

> Is anything personal in life?
> What makes something personal?

I don't really know... it seems to be personal if you listen to the
stories in your head, your interpretation of what is happening... so I
guess that what makes something personal are the thoughts that occur
in relation to what is taking place in the now. If there are no
thoughts, life becomes very universal, meaning that life goes on with
or without personal input. Identification with the stories in our head
make everything personal.
I feel though that everything seem to be happening to "me". Is this
just a story that I tell myself? It must be, because from the
"other's" perspective everything is happening to "them". This me point
of view is such a strong story being told over and over since
childhood that it feels like being true... I'm so looking forward in
viewing everything from a universal perspective...

Sending love.

Jan 11

to Cristiana
What happens if instead of looking from the angle that life happens to me and them you see that life happening AS this? All arising spontaneously as one flow.

How does that feel?

Sending love.

Jan 12

It feels much better than feeling or imagining to be separate. It is
just so tiring to feel separate from the rest. It is a breath of fresh
air to consider life happening AS this... So, "this" is it? Whatever
is happening now is "it"? The truth is whatever is happening in the
now? including the thoughts about it? Then, it is irrelevant if I'm
looking for the truth, isn't it? since whatever is happening is always
the truth? Then why am I searching? why am I looking for my true
nature, if there is only this moment and nothing else? I just find it
incredible that this moment is all there is... But then again each
moment is fresh and new, so the truth is always evolving in each new
moment? It makes sense that it is all this moment, otherwise it would
be separate...
I don't even know what I'm writing anymore! I hope I'm making some
sense. I'll get some sleep now. Will talk more tomorrow.
Lots of love.

Jan 13

Yes, there is only now and experiencing whatever is happening this moment. Right now, is the a boundary between here and there? Is there a centre? Is there an experiencer of now or just experiencing happening as this?

Whatever is happening now IS. Whatever is happening in imagination is only a story about IT. And story too is included in what is happening now.
Is anything missing?
Much love.

Jan 13

Nothing is missing, but a thought comes now saying "This can't be it,
something must be missing! It is not this simple!". But this is just a
thought and it is, like you say, also included in what is happening
There is no boundary between anything in what is happening now, no
center, no experiencer, just experience as a whole happening. If there
were an experiencer, then there would be not only one but many
centers, as there are many people/ experiencers and this just wouldn't
make any sense, as there would be separation everywhere. Again, I am
not making much sense, being carried away with investigating this with
thinking, always looking for something complex to play with. The truth
must be simple. I have to let this sink in, that the truth is the pure
simplicity of this moment and nothing more.

Jan 14

> "This can't be it,
> something must be missing! It is not this simple!"

Find what is hiding behind this thought, what would be lost, what feels threatened by simplicity.

Jan 14

What is behind this thought is the fear that I'll realize that I am
really nothing and that this means that all my life searching for the
truth has no significance at all; the fear to recognize that all
effort has been in vain, since what Is is always the same, it never
changed and it never will, so It never depends on any effort.
What would be lost? The person I think I am would be lost, it would
disappear, leaving me with the sensation of having no roots, no
ground. But I understand intellectually that I have nothing to fear
because, as they say, Presence/ Awareness is the ground of being.
What feels threatened by simplicity is this character Cristiana that
is afraid it is going to disappear.

Jan 14

Can you look up and see if the person can get lost? Will the story stop?
Can something imagined cease existing?

Was it you that was searching? If habit of searching falls of, is it a loss?
Or is it a goal of searching? See if mind is ready to relax, just ask it. Thank it for being such good mind. Give it a hug.

It's ok to relax.

Jan 14

I'm just smiling away, feeling relieved. Your pointings are just so
great, Ilona! :)))The person can not get lost, the story continues to
exist. Cristiana is still here :) that doesn't change, does it? What
it changes is where you put your focus on, but even this focus is not
caused by "me": it just happens! Everything in this moment is
happening on its own: Cristiana doesn't have to do anything at all for
something to happen, Cristiana is then not in charge, she never was in
charge: life is just flowing by and so is Cristiana, she is flowing by
as life moves through her. You ask "can something imagined cease to
exist?" well, if the control Cristiana thought she had was just
imagined, it doesn't cease to exist because it never existed in the
first place. There is no person here in control. Life is in control,
always and in all ways.

My mind has been so busy all these years trying to find the ultimate
meaning to existence, trying so hard to find the truth that now it is
strange to let it all drop away, all this effort. "What should I do
then?" - asks the mind.

> Was it you that was searching? If habit of searching falls of, is it a loss?

The mind was searching but what made the mind to search? Well, the
same thing that makes the thoughts appear and then disappear again!
If habit of searching falls of, then this falling of is exactly what
needs to happen since it is happening, and it is not a loss, it is
simply what is happening.

> Or is it a goal if searching? See if mind is ready to relax, just ask it. Thank it for being such good mind. Give it a hug.
> It's ok to relax.

Taking a deep breath now :) It is ok to relax :) this sounds so good
:))) it is all I want, really. But never though of it this way... It's
like all my life I've been looking for this: to just relax, to really
deeply relax and just be completely comfortable in my own skin.
Right now, at this moment, the mind is open and ready to relax,
although immediately thoughts come up, like "This won't last!"...
Isn't it amazing how the mind is always ready for a good fight, to go
to battle, but never to relax. The funny thing is that the mind is
fighting to find peace! What a contradiction, such crazy games the
mind likes to play.

I'm asking the mind now if it's ready to just relax and let go of all
this searching... The mind is receptive, it wants to stop and just
relax, yes. It has been for sure a good mind, keeping itself busy all
the time, with all this defending an imagined person, searching the
truth of this person, in all ways possible. It's ok to relax...
Another big breath coming up... I definitely feel more relaxed...
"What now? What needs to be done now?", the mind is asking... "Just
relax now, it is ok, nothing needs to be taken cared of, relax.." -
says another thought. Oh god, how addicted the mind is to try to be
always in control of some process that it thinks it needs to be

I'm listening to the mind with patience and love now "It's ok to let
go of all imagined control and just relax..." The mind is addicted to
"doing", it has to learn to be, to just be... And "being" is always
here. It is understood that anything that needs to be done
spontaneously arises in whatever is happening now, so the mind doesn't
need to be always looking for the next thing to DO, but can just
relax, just BE, and trust that the next thing to do will be revealed
in whatever happens in the environment moment by moment. It is just a
matter of the mind to really SEE This simplicity of what Is so that it
can finally relax and truly enjoy the flow...

Jan 14

Wonderful, Cristiana.
Keep relaxing and let this sink in.

We'll talk more tomorrow.
Big hug :))))

Jan 14

:))) Ok :)) big hug to you too!!

Jan 15

Hi, my sweet friend, just checking in to let you know how is
everything going today. But first of all I just want to say a million
thank you's! you have been so kind and ruthless (what a powerful,
unusual and beautiful combination :)! ), you have been helping me so
much in this process, how can I ever pay it forward for all this
energy and complete dedication?!...

Today I continue to be in relaxing mode since yesterday. Thoughts come
and go, the mind tries sometimes to take the front seat again, but
there is the realization that it never was in the first seat in the
first place! The mind is just a passenger that in the past pretended
to be guiding this imaginary me around, but now it is so clear that
only life is in control and guiding the whole thing, the whole of
life. My focus is now on relaxing in awareness... it's like I'm seeing
everything for the first time: that is why in Zen they always talk
about the necessity of always having a beginner's mind, to see and
live everything as if for the first time; when we do that, the focus
seems to go immediately to the awareness, to the space where
everything is happening in.

Only now, zazen or simply sitting still, takes a whole new meaning,
the only meaning intended before but only now it is understood: just
relaxing as unmovable awareness, no matter what is happening inside
it. That's why they say that the simple act of just sitting still is
itself enlightenment, and not a process to get somewhere. This makes
so much sense now. I'm reading and watching what I used to read and
watch before in a whole new way now: not to get somewhere but to
simply let it sink deeper and to remain curious about existence (this
curiosity doesn't go away, on the contrary, it grows more because you
want to be able to dance with life in a more harmonious way...).
In general, everything goes on as before, the difference is that my
relationship with what goes on is different: there's more calmness,
not taking things so personally when relating to people, letting
everything flow by without the mind's trying to control the course of
anything; I am more aware of this presence that let's everything in,
including all the chain of "I" thoughts that are trying to come back
so that the "me" gets to play the boss again... but "I" know better
now: now I trust this awareness more than I trust the thoughts that
appear in it; now I'm learning how to let it all go and just relax in
the flow...

Any recommendations? Maybe things I need to do or know in order for
the relaxation to deepen more?

Much love, endless gratitude and another huge hug!! thank you thank
you thank you!!! :))))

Jan 17

Dear Ilona, didn't get your reply yet but checking in again...
Yesterday and today things haven't changed much. I continue to be
relaxed, although once in a while thoughts try to get my attention but
I don't seem to buy into them anymore. Sometimes I wonder if this is
really it, if I really woke up from the dream of separation. Sometimes
the mind tries to convince me that this simple ordinary moment isn't
it, but I try to just relax in the moment and the mind seems to relax
a bit too.
Sending love and much gratitude.

Jan 17

Hi Cristiana :)
I'm happy to hear that all experience is getting smoother.
Can you say, that shift has happened or is it still happening?
Can you confirm, that yes, illusion of separation has been seen through.

What is the I in your last email ?

Sending a hug

Jan 17

3 days ago, when I answered all your pointings, when you asked me if
my mind was ready to relax, I felt a shift happened. But as the days
pass the shift feeling seems to dissolve, so I'm not really sure. How
can I be sure? If I'm asking this question, then maybe it didn't
happened or is still happening, I really don't know. I felt so sure 3
days ago till today... It's like I felt a shift but then
routine/ordinary life kicks in and the feeling of the shift gets lost,
is this normal? But did something got lost? I don't think so... You
ask me if illusion of separation has been seen through, well I
think I did, I saw that I am not my mind, all this chain of thoughts
called "me", but then this me seem to be here again, I don't know... I
feel like I got it, that I passed the gate, so to speak, but there is
still this "I" that I use writing this email... What is this "I"? Is
it still an identification with mind, the chain of thoughts, or is it
just the use of language in order to communicate? I don't feel like I'm
identifying with the content of mind anymore but does this mean that
I'm liberated from the illusion of separation? I can't be sure: I
can't say no, but something in me hesitates to say yes either. The
word "liberation" is just so big, it has so much impact, and I feel
like what I'm living is so normal that I think that this "normal life"
can't be it... Do you see my doubt? I don't know how else to put it...

Jan 17

Ordinary life is all that is, plain, simple, just this. So they say- chop wood, carry water.. No magic.
Yes, what is I used in language?
And what does word liberation point to?
Is there an I /me to get liberated? What gets liberated and from what?

Much love to you.

Jan 18

The I used in language refers to the bodymind, to a particular
expression of consciousness.
The word liberation points to living in the complete freedom of being
a unique expression of life with no hesitation, guilt, doubts or
suffering, just living freely and spontaneously in whatever happens in
the flow of now.

Before liberation there seems to be a me that seeks liberation, that
seeks to be free from the separation. During the shift of liberation,
it is realized that the me that seeks liberation is itself the
illusion of separation. All there is is this mysterious aware presence
that is having experiences... so what gets liberated must be awareness
itself, it gets liberated from the identification with a me, with a
separate person. This is tricky this answer, because it is also seen
that awareness was, is and always will be free. But somehow this play
of someone trying to get liberated from feeling separate happens to
and in the field of always liberated awareness...

Yes, ordinary life is just this, whatever is happening, always plain
and simple. Maybe I expected more, some magic, so I'm learning to
appreciate the simplicity of it. I guess what happens is that I feel
this great enthusiasm, a great excitement in some aha moments that
turn the "ordinary" into "magical", "special" moments, you see? And
then there is this expectation that this exciting magical feelings
towards what is happening will somehow stay forever. And when this
excitement of feeling that there is no separation fades away, like
everything does, when ordinary life is felt to be ordinary again, then
there comes this thought that I lost the "Seeing", that the shift
didn't happen after all. But what is important is to really see that
all there is is awareness and that identification with thought causes
the sensation of separation, right? I guess this is what is happening
in my process: that I see through the illusion of a separate me, I
feel in that moment a great excitement, and somehow I identify that
excitement with the seeing itself; and when the excitement fades away,
I feel like there is no seeing anymore, but just ordinary life
happening as before. How to get past this? and settle in with the flow
of ordinary life? this is a silly question! the flowing with the
ordinary life is already happening, all the time. So I just need to
keep on relaxing and not identifying with any thought that comes?

Jan 20

How is it going, Cristiana? How is that ordinary life, is there still seeking for something magical to happen?
How are you feeling lately?

Big hug.

Jan 20

Hi Ilona :) everything is going smoothly. I'm felling quite neutral
lately, letting all happen naturally, I'm not worried about anything
in particular. Seeking for something magical in ordinary life seems to
be falling away... all seeking is dropping. The mind is more quiet, it
is not calling for attention. Thoughts come up about whether this that
is happening is all normal and "right" but as they are not engaged
these thoughts drop away too. And that's it, not much to report.
Sending a big hug to you too :)

Jan 20

That is a great report! I see you are settling in nicely..
Can you say, that yes, shift has happened and illusion of separation has been seen for what it is- an illusion.

Jan 22

Sorry for taking so long to reply, Ilona, but my grandmother died
yesterday... These past few days have been long and a bit tough but
I've been strangely detached at times, not resisting, as if nothing
was happening to me, although of course sadness and crying happened.
And thinking about death and why things are the way they are are also
naturally coming up... But there's no getting around it, is there? I
mean, life is here, it throws situations at you and you can't escape
it... I used to think a while back that being enlightened all the
problems would just go away, they would never happen again and life
would become all roses with no thorns. But life just doesn't care
about all these concepts in your head, everything that needs to happen
happens anyway, despite if you're so called liberated or not...
You ask me if shift has happened, well I think it did, the illusion of
separation has been seen to be an illusion, but as the days go by,
it's as if I feel like nothing ever happened, like life is flowing by
as before... the only thing I notice is different is that I don't feel
like I'm seeking anymore, which feels a little weird sometimes, like I
don't really know what to do with myself anymore... Maybe this is a
period of readjustment to a new way of living?

Sending much love.

Jan 22

Dear Cristiana, I'm sending my condolences and a big warm hug. It's not an easy time when a loved one leaves this life. My heart is with you...

Thinking about death and meeting death is giving different perspective on life. It takes time to deal with departure and lots of feelings gets stirred. I'm so sorry..

Yes, life is happening no matter what labels we give ourselves, liberated of not, life goes on. Seeing that nothing is personal gives that space inside, detachment as you say.
There is a little place where you can look now- is life throwing situations at you or it's just happening as this, as these situations, to no one, impersonal, free falling, spontaneous happening.

I'm so glad to hear that resistance to things arising is no longer an issue. Let me know when you are ready for the final questions.

Big hug and tons of love your way.

Jan 23

:) thank you for your kind words, sweet Ilona, I am feeling peaceful today...

> There is a little place where you can look now- is life throwing situations at you or it's just happening as this, as these situations, to no one, impersonal, free falling, spontaneous happening.

This is a great pointing and it makes me wonder if I really did see
through illusion or not: there is a little doubt hanging around, maybe
hiding some sort of identification still, some me trying to hold on...
But I'm ready for the final questions: answering them will for sure
disclosure if there is still some sticking points or not. I really
hope I'm through... although I'm going to miss this long conversation
of ours :))... When I talk to you it seems the sense of aliveness in
me gets stronger... I wonder what will happen when we stop talking...
Hopefully the seeing will stay intact and keeps deepening? I know I
will have to rely solely on myself, I am the one who has to live my
own life...but I was really enjoying having you around...

Jan 23

I'm always here for you Cristiana, I enjoy talking and exploring too. You can write to me anytime when you feel like and I will answer.
Ok, so here are the final questions:

Can you confirm, that yes, the illusion of separation have been seen through?
Is there a separate self, I, me? Was there ever? How about right now?
If you had to describe this to someone, what would you say this is? What is the illusion exactly?

Just write answering these questions and add anything you think relevant.

Jan 24

> Can you confirm, that yes, the illusion of separation have been seen through?

I've seen that there is no one or nothing separate from this one aware
aliveness, this one consciousness, this one space where everything
happens in and as. So yes, the illusion of separation have been seen
through, although sometimes there is the tendency to fall into the
thought of "I", that something is happening to a someone, but it is
recognized it is just a thought, a tendency that is gradually fading
away. I have to say though that some resistance is being felt
answering these questions, this question in particular, as if what is
left of some tendencies to identify again as a someone is feeling
threatened by answering "Yes, the illusion of separation have been
seen through", as if answering this, there is no going back, no
turning point... does this make any sense?

> Is there a separate self, I, me? Was there ever? How about right now?

There is nothing separate, there never was, so there is naturally no
me anywhere but just experience taking place, moment by moment. Right
now, writing these words is what is taking place, listening to the
sounds in the kitchen, someone making dinner downstairs, it is all the
reality that is flowing now, this is IT... so all there is right now
is inclusion of all that is taking place naturally in this aware
space, there is nothing separate happening, it is all one thing
happening at the same time.

> If you had to describe this to someone, what would you say this is? What is the illusion exactly?

The illusion is identifying with the thought that I am always separate
from what is taking place here and now, and from everyone and
everything. All our lives we've been taught that each one of us is a
separate individual, which makes us feel contracted and unhappy almost
all the time, causing us, sooner or later, to end this suffering by
searching in the "outside", in the world, for some relief, for the end
of this suffering, for the end of this constant feeling of not being
comfortable in our skin, relating to others and ourselves. But at some
point, life show us, through some situation or through someone who
have seen through this illusion already, that the answer to end this
contracted way of living is simply to look to what is, always have
been, and always will be present: our true nature, our own awareness
is always here, now, at this moment, all the time and realizing this,
the contracted, tense mind begins to relax and to stop its frantic
search for an answer. The answer is right here right now, so simple...
and the mind understood the solutions to this existential problem to
be so complicated, so complex and exhausting. Finally, one begins to
relax and the identification of being a separate someone begins to
fall away, to some people in a fast, sudden way, to others in a more
gradual, subtle way.

Jan 25

Yes, nice. As for resistance to answer, what is there that feels threatened? What is it that can be lost if the answer is YES?
What is here that wants to hold on?

Jan 25

> Yes, nice. As for resistance to answer, what is there that feels threatened? What is it that can be lost if the answer is YES?

The thought "I am this person" feels threatened... but it is just a
thought... a thought doesn't feel or think, hmmm.... If the answer is
YES, then the whole house of cards will for sure crumble down: the
house of cards being what remains of the identification with being a
separate being... What can be lost? the whole idea that somewhere
inside there is still some part of me that feels separate.

> What is here that wants to hold on?

Just a bunch of occasional thoughts, like "This is still not over, it
is not that simple! you have to still keep going!", or "you will never
get to the end of this process! As long as you live you will have to
keep searching, and maybe some day the confirmation that you are free
will come". All these are just thoughts coming from a mind that is
shedding all its tension and belief systems that no longer serve this
new way of living of not believing all these thoughts that are just
falling away, being dissolved by just relaxing into the moment...

Jan 25

Hi again, Ilona :)
I've just finished watching some videos of Pamela Wilson and things
are just falling more into place. She said at some point that this
that we are doesn't need an experience to confirm it, that all it
takes is one time (just like you say - that once seen, it can not be
unseen)... that we all seem to have high standards for all this
awakening stuff... once you have an experience and get it that it's
all one thing, one awareness, then that experience can rest and fall
away too. This was so refreshing to hear, because I guess that's where
my sticking point is: I try to maintain the experience of seeing
through the illusion of separation, and when the experience starts to
fall away (like all experiences do) I conclude that I lost the seeing
and that I'm not liberated after all, see what I mean? But the seeing
is still here, I know now that I am not separate from life, that YES,
I've seen through the illusion, but somehow my mind is still expecting
to keep seeing exactly like I did in my previous experience when I
first saw it, but of course the seeing gets "normalized", it's just
each ordinary moment... nothing special, just This, whatever is

Pamela also said something interesting: that the mind keeps coming
back with "wrong views", limited thoughts, so that it can have Satsang
with awareness... isn't this just beautiful? so the thoughts, in this
unfoldment after awakening, keep coming back until the mind gets more
and more peace , until the mind finally get it that it is itself
awareness, just playing around and liberating stuff that needs to be

I'm just so lucky to have found you, so grateful that life made me
contact you and have this amazing conversation :))
Lots of love !! and looking forward to your reply.

Jan 26

Pamela is great! If you ever have a chance to meet her in person, go for it.  She is most gentle woman with aura of goddess, i love her.

So I hear from you : YES, but...

Look into that 'but' part, really open it. See what it is protecting. What is behind that sensation?

Also, examine this- what if, the seeing did happen and now it's only a matter of clearing up the debris. If you imagine tsunami hitting the shore and how much damage it does to the land and structures, same here- a wave happens, after it there is a lot to clean up, it's just how it goes. It may take time to do this work- situation arises, thoughts say this or that- checking with truth- yes or no- letting go- coming back to peace. The experience of seeing it first time can not be repeated, not it needs to, every moment is fresh. And every moment is a new opportunity to see it. And every moment is right here right now.

You may also look up on YouTube Shinzen Young and his explanation on Zen ox. He puts this no self thing in a bit of perspective, so you can see it from wider angle.

Write to me what you find digging around this 'but...'

Much love.

Jan 26

Thank you for telling me about the Zen ox videos, I really enjoyed
them, they are profound, clear and direct.
As for Pamela, she is really great. I can't believe I stumbled upon
her teachings only yesterday, I watched all videos available! she sure
has a beautiful, refreshing, strong but serene glow about her...

> Look into that 'but' part, really open it. See what it is protecting. What is behind that sensation?

The "but" part seem to be a way the remaining limited thoughts are
using to protect themselves, to stick around, to pretend nothing
happened. But something did happen: "stream entry" happened, and the
noticing of this flow is happening, moment by moment. The moment I
first noticed it, it was so fresh and alive, you are right, it can not
be repeated, but, like you say, every moment is a new opportunity to
see it... So this "but" is like a distraction, the last trick of the
mind... The mind, though, is tired of playing tricks and games, so I
have the feeling this will fall away soon. So, why is the mind trying
to pretend nothing happened? I really don't know, it's a little
confusing because I can feel the mind just wants to abandon all its
battles and just come to rest at the heart, at feeling at peace and
ease... I really like your tsunami metaphor: I think it is what is
happening yes. The mind was relieved when the seeing happened but a
couple of days later it tried to resurrect the "I" and keep its old
ways going and it feels like "ouch!". I guess it does take time for
the mind to learn how to navigate the flow of life in this relaxed new
way that was felt when the illusion of self was first seen through. It
feels so good to trust and keep relaxing, moment by moment... so much
energy it takes to keep doubting, the bodymind just gets tense,
contracted, unhappy. I'm trying to spend some time everyday just to be
still and relax, and allow this easiness to flood my entire nervous
system: it will probably convince the mind that it is ok to relax, to
abandon its tendencies to control, to protect, to resist...

Jan 27

Hi Ilona,
I'm writing again because more thoughts around the "but" just came to
the surface: I suddenly realized that there is a part inside that
feels like it doesn't deserve to accept and enjoy that YES. There is a
part of the mind where it feels like it still needs to work hard to
earn the feeling of being relaxed and knowing that the goal has been
reached. If it admits that the goal has been reached, it means it has
nothing more to do, nothing more to accomplish... The main thing about
this "but" is this feeling of not deserving the good and easy things
life might have to offer... it is a resistance to receive easiness,
abundance, to accept life's grace, to allow the mind to just let go of
all its insecurities... The mind is in need of self-love, it is afraid
to let down its guard and to be mellow and relax and accept it
deserves life's offerings, it is so afraid that if it accepts to let
all these contracted feelings to go, that life might hurt its
feelings, like something bad might happen... Isn't this all silly?...
It's funny because I notice in my everyday life, for some years now, a
certain hesitation to let something new enter my life, as if I am
afraid that it might hurt me in some way... it's like I'm afraid of
life, and so it is easier to pretend I'm not capable or that something
is still missing so that I keep on hiding from life... And now, all
this is being brought up in the open so I can see it and decide if I
want to keep holding on to this old me or if I finally allow life to
flow freely and accept its offerings... hmmm....

Jan 27

Very nice opening. :)
Mind is afraid that it will disappear once the goal is reached. But it's not the case. There is nothing to disappear. See if mind prefers clarity to confusion, play to hard work, innocence to responsibility.

See what is behind the fear of loosing 'old me'.

Much love.

Jan 27

:))) oh god, the mind is dying to let all this old stuff go! it just
wants to relax instead of worrying all the time! Yes, of course it
prefers clarity to all this mess! imaginary mess, I should add :)!!
"Without the old me who am I?", asks the mind. "Just this moment",
says this moment! Isn't it funny how when you try to explore the way
we're doing it, things just tend to disappear? When I look at what is
behind this fear I can't find anything... let me try it again...ok...
there's this wondering if I will be able to function in the world...
But of course I will! And much more so! without the weight of all
these silly worries! these are just thoughts, I know this! ... I'm
smiling and just don't know what to write anymore... I'm ok. :))
everything is ok, isn't it? :)))
Much love!

Jan 29

Hey Ilona :) just checking in and letting you know that the mind is
much more relaxed these past couple of days, not protesting so much
anymore :) Also, it's becoming more and more clear that this is only
the beginning, that the journey is endless, so you might as well relax,
right? It's like there was somewhere this thought that there was an
end to this process but the truth is that there is always more and
more, that each day and each moment brings a new adventure. So the
mind just wants to relax and enjoy life as it comes...
This is all for now, much love to you!

Jan 29 

That is so great to hear. I'm delighted for you. Yes, it's an opening, a beginning, a start of an adventure and there is so much to explore. This ever present now offers endless opportunity to focus on what is here, rather then what is going on in the story.

Here are the final questions for you.
Please answer in full, when ready.

Jan 30 

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

No, there never was any separate me in any way, shape or form: all
there is is consciousness, which is undivided reality; everything is
included in this aware space, separation is an illusion.

> 2) in the experience, is there an experiencer? Is it body that experiences or is the body the experienced?

The experience is everything that happens in the field of awareness,
being the experiencer awareness itself.
Awareness also experiences the body, with all its senses.

> 3) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.

When we are children, imitating what is happening in our environment,
we begin to identify with the chain of thoughts that begin with the
thought "I" that causes the feeling of being separate from everyone
and everything. We begin to believe every thought of separation that
comes to the mind, making us feel contracted and unhappy; we feel
divided because we believe more in the thoughts than in the direct
experiencing in the moment, the spontaneous flow of life. This belief
in separation is reinforced when we look around and see that everyone
around us is living in the same way.

> 4) How does it feel to see this?

The mind feels great relief because now it knows better, it knows how
all the illusion of separation mechanism works: it doesn't have to
contract and identify every time a thought appears anymore. It doesn't
have to worry all the time and try to fix anything either. It just can
relax and trust in the sensation of being alive, in the aware presence
of life flowing by, moment by moment. The mind begins to trust more in
life, that always takes care of itself.

> 5)How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion but is curious about it.

I think the answer to this question some days ago was just perfect so
I will paste it here:

The illusion is identifying with the thought that I am always separate
 from what is taking place here and now, and from everyone and
 everything. All our lives we've been taught that each one of us is a
 separate individual, which makes us feel contracted and unhappy almost
 all the time, causing us, sooner or later, to end this suffering by
 searching in the "outside", in the world, for some relief, for the end
 of this suffering, for the end of this constant feeling of not being
 comfortable in our skin, relating to others and ourselves. But at some
 point, life show us, through some situation or through someone who
 have seen through this illusion already, that the answer to end this
 contracted way of living is simply to look to what is, always have
 been, and always will be present: our true nature, our own awareness
 is always here, now, at this moment, all the time and realizing this,
 the contracted, tense mind begins to relax and to stop its frantic
 search for an answer. The answer is right here right now, so simple...
 and the mind understood the solutions to this existential problem to
 be so complicated, so complex and exhausting. Finally, one begins to
 relax and the identification of being a separate someone begins to
 fall away, to some people in a fast, sudden way, to others in a more
 gradual, subtle way.

> 6) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look? Can you describe the moment when seeing happened?

In my case, it was so gradual. Little by little, the mind just started
to abandon its old ways and just started to notice that awareness was
always present and the feeling of being separate from the flow of life
began to fade away.
But looking back, it was in January 5th the moment when seeing first
happened, it was just so fresh and exciting, although the mind tried
to fight against this realization a couple of days later until
recently; it took the mind about a month to settle down and accept its
I will paste the entire email from January 5th here, because it
describes so well the moment when I finally saw through the illusion:

 i'm smiling now, reading your words "what is the I that is
 aware?"... There is no I that is aware!!! There is just awareness!!
 How can this be?! Awareness does not require an I !!! Awareness knows
 and sees directly, without the aid of anything!! Am I Seeing It now? I
 feel this joy coming up out of nowhere! I'm just happy for no
 reason... Is this it? There is no I?! It just feels so clear now... I
 hope this lasts! LOL!! just kidding!! :)) this "I hope this lasts" is
 just a thought.. gone now! But what I mean is, could this be so simple
 like this, just smiling and noticing there is no I, but just
 awareness functioning?.. uau :)) keep asking me whatever, so that I am
 sure I am really Seeing It.  But what am I saying?! "I" can't be sure!
 There is no "I" to be sure of anything! Only awareness IS! And
 awareness is quiet now... it always Is, it doesn't change!!

> 7) Anything to add?

Just that I love you... my dear friend :) thank you so much for your
compassion and for taking this amazing ride with me! I will never
forget you and hope we will stay in touch.
Is there a Liberation Unleashed group so that I can connect with
people that went through the same?
Also, when my process stabilizes more, I would love to pass my
gratitude on and try to help others to see... I don't know if I would
be good at it but I would love to try some day...

Jan 31

Hi sweet Cristiana.

Thank you for answers :) lovely.
Is there any doubt at all?

One little question, can I post our conversation on my blog, with your name or whatever name you like, it may help someone else...
I can get you into groups, once other guides will read and ask questions, if they have any..

Big hug! <3

Jan 31 

Hi Ilona :)

No, no doubts at all, at least for now there aren't, which feels so
great, so smooth and liberating...the mind is finally enjoying the
ride :)
Of course you can post our conversation in your blog and you can use
my own name, it would be great if it helps someone.
It would be wonderful to be in the aftercare group to stay connected
to kindred spirits and make sure things continue to deepen and
stabilize... let me know, ok?

Big hug and talk to you soon!

Jan 31 

Sweet! It may take a couple of days for me to put it up.. I've got a busy couple of days coming. :)
Are we friends on Facebook? We can chat there any time. I'd love to.

 have a smooth evening :)

Jan 31 

:) yes, we're friends on facebook for a couple of weeks now. Sure, we
can chat there any time :)
Take care and stay close

1 comment:

  1. It was a delight to read. I remembered parts of my 'journey' and feel inspired and grateful to LU. Bravo Cristiana and Ilona, love joe x