A Guide to Breaking Free From the Illusion of the Separate Self

ILONA CUINAITE

Ilona Ciunaite was born in Lithuania. Always interested in the mind and how it works, she has a degree in psychology and a mind-set to focus on freedom for herself and those who find her.

Ilona lives in England with her husband Narimantas, a tattoo artist from whom she learned the art of tattooing. Together they run a custom tattoo studio in West Sussex.

Ilona’s search for truth started in 2002, when for the first time she “experienced silence of the thinking mind, a sweet sense of being, contentment, peace,” and “feeling at home.” In 2010 she discovered Jed McKenna’s books, which were a shock to her belief system and catapulted her “out of hypnosis” and toward the realization that all she believed was not truth. It wasn’t until the initial deconstruction was done, after months of painful self-inquiry, that Ciunaite felt at peace: there was an emptiness, a not knowing, a not believing anything about anything. Then the last step was taken and the separate self was seen to be an illusion. She started writing a blog, Marked, Eternal, where she shared thoughts about this newfound freedom and invited readers to look for themselves in their own experience. Later, Ciunaite and her friend Elena Nezhinsky helped develop a process called Direct Pointing, which consists of a dialogue between a guide and a seeker. In September 2011, the Liberation Unleashed website and forum was launched.

Together Ciunaite and Nezhinsky published a book, Gateless Gatecrashers, that consists of conversations leading to self-realization, and which can be downloaded for free from the Liberation Unleashed website.

Liberation Unleashed is a global movement of people helping others to see through the illusion of self. Ciunaite has had hundreds of conversations with people from all around the globe. Her main focus and work is helping people end their seeking by inviting them to question their fundamental assumptions and look at their own experience. She does not give answers, only questions. In this way a seeker may see what is going on for themselves and free their minds from conditioned patterns to explore whatever comes next. Ciunaite holds live meetings and group sessions in the UK. All of her work can be found on her blog Marked, Eternal and on The Gate forum.

Excerpts from Ilona Ciunaite's New book

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Non-Duality (October 1, 2016)
Language: English
Kindle: $13.95
Book: $12.20

Quit Following

 

I did not read a lot of books while I was seeking for answers to my never-ending questions about what is actually happening; however, I read a few—some great ones too. The books that had the biggest effect on me were the ones that told me to think for myself. I realized I took other people’s descriptions of how things are to be the truth; they seemed to know something I did not and tried to teach me this or that. I followed methods, advice, prescriptions; I tried a few things, only to see that following a method does not work.

 

Nothing seemed to work. Until I quit following.

 

I discovered that all the beliefs I had were nice stories that seemed true. I also saw how the usual learning-teaching method worked; it is based on the “repeat after me” principle. I realised that I had not been using my own mind; instead I had made assumptions about what was true from what I was told, what I read, or what I saw on a screen. Using my own head to answer my own questions in the beginning was difficult and rather strange, but at the same time it was also fun. It was much more interesting than comparing who said what. I felt like I had found a muscle that I didn’t know was there and I had never used or exercised.

 

This is where you have to let go of all that you know to be true, all that you expect and hope for. I will guide you to look, step by step. You will see for yourself, and know rather than understand, that there is no separation from life, from all that is. You’ll realise that “I” is a thought, not an entity, that a separate self does not exist. All you need to do in order to see this is to look. Simply look at what you think that “I” is. This is what I’m going to point you to.

 

Little by little, pieces of the puzzle will fall into place, and the view will be revealed.

 

Each chapter is a small piece. It’s up to you to connect the dots, do the math, and resolve the question of self once and for all.

 

Here is my invitation to you: stop reading about, listening to, and watching what someone else has to say about your burning questions. Find out what is true, and inquire until you know—till all is clear. Do this for yourself, by yourself, for the love of truth.

Recognition

 

Once it’s seen, it cannot be unseen. This statement refers to recognition. In other words, what is recognized will always be recognised, no matter the situation—unless, of course, you have memory problems.

 

Let’s say you meet someone and ten years later you meet her again—instant recognition happens. It’s underneath the thinking.

 

Recognition is something that operates outside of thoughts. Youmeet that old friend and recognize her simply because she has a unique face, body structure, voice, and so forth. It’s like learning the colors in childhood; a child is shown the color and is told that it is called “red.” That child then recognizes red at any time in life as being “red.” You hear a song once, and the second time you reconnize it—I’ve heard that song before.

 

When we look at something familiar, recognition takes place—the “aha!” moment. We don’t need to philosophize or make logical connections to simply recognize what is already the case.

 

It’s difficult to see the illusion of a separate self only because it has never occurred to us to deeply question the assumptions, I am a separate entity, I have an identity. The “I-thought” is assumed to be “me,” the doer and thinker, a subject with free will and choice.

 

When we start digging into these assumptions, it becomes obvious that an “I-entity” cannot be found. When you face this head-on, recognition happens. “There is no separate self” can just be words that raise your eyebrows, or they can be a knowing that is beyond thought.

 

What is, simply is, without any manager, orchestrator, or puppet master pulling strings. Life is just happening, and everything is happening within it, as it. Nothing is separate from anything else.

 

Everything is dependent upon everything else as one movement, one dance—empty and yet so rich in its fullness.

 

Recognition is a moment when we know that we know. It’s something familiar showing up; it may have been forgotten, or it may have been denied, but once that recognition happens, it is not possible to unrecognize that pattern. Once the seeing happens, once it becomes clear that the separate self is an illusion, it can never be truly forgotten again. Different situations arise with differ- ent levels of intensity, but what has been seen can be seen over and over and over again in every situation. It’s not hidden. When we look at what is obvious, without thinking or referring to a memory, without trying to fit it into models of reality or to match it to the descriptions given by teachers, there is an intimate, instant recognition. This is. This is what is happening now; the rest is a story. No one can convince you that you recognize something. Of course you can pretend and say that you do and make logical expla- nations, express opinions, have debates, write books, and teach about it. But deep knowing comes from within, from looking for yourself, from wanting to know beyond doubt.

Liberation Unleashed is a lively, fresh, and moving account of the author’s own searching, liberation, and transformation, woven together with the stories of fellow seekers and a clear exposition of the simple, focused tools you can use to go through the “gateless gate.” With its conversational tone, provocative questions, and the presentation of the seven steps—“Clearing the path—meeting the fear,” “Strip away ALL expectations,” “Get in touch with the real,” “‘I’ is a thought,” “There is no separate self,” “How does it feel to see this?” and “Falling”—this book serves as an introductory how-to guide, demonstrating how to use the process of self-inquiry to get free from the falseness of the separate self and realize a blissful oneness.

So many of us go through life feeling isolated, searching for ourselves, or seeking a more authentic reality through religion, spirituality, or other, more unconventional means of expanding consciousness. Now, with this book and its guiding principles, you’ll learn how to look deeply into the nature of self and existence; combat the anxieties, fears, mental blocks, and reservations that can arise in self-inquiry; and see the simple beauty of the everyday moment.

Some of Ilona Ciunaite's Artwork

To see more of Ilona’s artwork and tattoos, visit the Mantas-Tattoo website.

Discover how to unravel the false sense of a separate self

At the center of your existence

Liberation Unleashed is a lively, fresh, and moving account of the author’s own searching, liberation, and transformation, woven together with the stories of fellow seekers and a clear exposition of the simple, focused tools you can use to go through the “gateless gate.” With its conversational tone, provocative questions, and the presentation of the seven steps—“Clearing the path—meeting the fear,” “Strip away ALL expectations,” “Get in touch with the real,” “‘I’ is a thought,” “There is no separate self,” “How does it feel to see this?” and “Falling”—this book serves as an introductory how-to guide, demonstrating how to use the process of self-inquiry to get free from the falseness of the separate self and realize a blissful oneness.

So many of us go through life feeling isolated, searching for ourselves, or seeking a more authentic reality through religion, spirituality, or other, more unconventional means of expanding consciousness. Now, with this book and its guiding principles, you’ll learn how to look deeply into the nature of self and existence; combat the anxieties, fears, mental blocks, and reservations that can arise in self-inquiry; and see the simple beauty of the everyday moment.