How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

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one_awakening
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by one_awakening » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:36 am

nichiren-123 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:09 pm
.....I don't know how to go about rooting out the idea that it is 'me' in control and also, where I go from my current level of realisation?
I don't think it's something that you want to "root out". It comes back to mindfulness. Simply observe the rising and passing away of thoughts. If you can maintain the continuity of mindfulness, then the true nature of thoughts will reveal themselves. Then you will come to the realization that they are simply impersonal processes that rise and pass away.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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archaic
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by archaic » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:05 am

nichiren-123 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:09 pm
So I've been thinking about whether my thoughts are 'me' and have realised that they are impersonal and that the same goes for my feelings. My thoughts and feelings are beyond my control so there's no logic to saying "I thought of this idea" or "this is my idea" because in reality I did not choose to think or feel that way.

So I know all this in theory but I don't know how to go about rooting out the idea that it is 'me' in control and also, where I go from my current level of realisation?
This is a great question. It seems like once a person has intellectual understanding and acceptance, its a matter of helping to nurture oneself from an intellectual understanding into an intuitive understanding of the nature of non-self.

The goal of rooting out the "you" or the "self" likely needs to come from multiple different angles, which is probably a gradual process for most.

For myself, its important to see both the goal and the process towards reaching this understanding as the same thing: striving for awareness.

Contemplations of the body (mindfulness of breathing, postures, positions, the parts, the 4 elements) could add to your contemplations of feelings and mind-objects. They might help cultivate a detached and balanced view of the body as the self.

As one lets go of the attachment of seeing the body as self, it would then beg the question "whose body is this?"

This would tie-in to the questions you've already asked (similar to "whose feelings are these?" and "whose thoughts/mental events are these?")

The process of asking these questions and reflecting on the answers may hopefully aid the process of detachment from the self.

Also, deep concentration meditations help me greatly to slow down the pace of feelings and thoughts, which gives a closer look at pure consciousness as it is... This greatly helps to separate the idea that body, feelings, and mind are the self. Jhana is great if you have it, but its not necessarily needed to gain benefits from one-pointed concentration meditation IMHO.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:32 am

archaic wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:05 am
nichiren-123 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:09 pm
So I've been thinking about whether my thoughts are 'me' and have realised that they are impersonal and that the same goes for my feelings. My thoughts and feelings are beyond my control so there's no logic to saying "I thought of this idea" or "this is my idea" because in reality I did not choose to think or feel that way.

So I know all this in theory but I don't know how to go about rooting out the idea that it is 'me' in control and also, where I go from my current level of realisation?
This is a great question. It seems like once a person has intellectual understanding and acceptance, its a matter of helping to nurture oneself from an intellectual understanding into an intuitive understanding of the nature of non-self.

The goal of rooting out the "you" or the "self" likely needs to come from multiple different angles, which is probably a gradual process for most.
The importance of Right View can't be underestimated. If we just pursue various practices without foundation, we get a mixture of results. Nothing is ever truly clear. The Buddha's teaching is not about 'rooting out the idea of self'. He never posited a self to be rooted out. Seeing things the way they are is not rooting out a self. It is seeing that there is not a self, just a chain of ideas that 'seem' to be a self but when inspected, have no permanence. Why root out something that is not permanent? It's very nature is not established. It's a deception that gets repeated over and over. Seeing this, disenchantment begins to rise up. This is a wisdom factor that the teaching says leads to dispassion, and then release. Release from what? Deception, which is the idea of self, attachment/clinging, and becoming. To me, this all begins with Right View. Taking up practices without really understanding what you are doing turns into a practice of becoming, which is not what the Buddha taught. This is probably not easy to understand for most people, or maybe it took me longer than most. :lol:

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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by archaic » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:32 am
archaic wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:05 am
nichiren-123 wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:09 pm
So I've been thinking about whether my thoughts are 'me' and have realised that they are impersonal and that the same goes for my feelings. My thoughts and feelings are beyond my control so there's no logic to saying "I thought of this idea" or "this is my idea" because in reality I did not choose to think or feel that way.

So I know all this in theory but I don't know how to go about rooting out the idea that it is 'me' in control and also, where I go from my current level of realisation?
This is a great question. It seems like once a person has intellectual understanding and acceptance, its a matter of helping to nurture oneself from an intellectual understanding into an intuitive understanding of the nature of non-self.

The goal of rooting out the "you" or the "self" likely needs to come from multiple different angles, which is probably a gradual process for most.
The importance of Right View can't be underestimated. If we just pursue various practices without foundation, we get a mixture of results. Nothing is ever truly clear. The Buddha's teaching is not about 'rooting out the idea of self'. He never posited a self to be rooted out. Seeing things the way they are is not rooting out a self. It is seeing that there is not a self, just a chain of ideas that 'seem' to be a self but when inspected, have no permanence. Why root out something that is not permanent? It's very nature is not established. It's a deception that gets repeated over and over. Seeing this, disenchantment begins to rise up. This is a wisdom factor that the teaching says leads to dispassion, and then release. Release from what? Deception, which is the idea of self, attachment/clinging, and becoming. To me, this all begins with Right View. Taking up practices without really understanding what you are doing turns into a practice of becoming, which is not what the Buddha taught. This is probably not easy to understand for most people, or maybe it took me longer than most. :lol:
Sorry, I don't mean to be contentious, but I am just unclear if you were quoting me to agree or disagree with what I said? Did you think I was saying "root out the self"? Because I don't think I said that.

I was however referring to guiding oneself gradually through insight towards the realization of no self... Anatta.

Anatta, being one of the three marks of existence of all beings.

As we guide ourselves to comprehend non-self, impermanence, and the reality of suffering, we begin to free ourselves.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Saengnapha
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:15 am

archaic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:32 am
archaic wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:05 am


This is a great question. It seems like once a person has intellectual understanding and acceptance, its a matter of helping to nurture oneself from an intellectual understanding into an intuitive understanding of the nature of non-self.

The goal of rooting out the "you" or the "self" likely needs to come from multiple different angles, which is probably a gradual process for most.
The importance of Right View can't be underestimated. If we just pursue various practices without foundation, we get a mixture of results. Nothing is ever truly clear. The Buddha's teaching is not about 'rooting out the idea of self'. He never posited a self to be rooted out. Seeing things the way they are is not rooting out a self. It is seeing that there is not a self, just a chain of ideas that 'seem' to be a self but when inspected, have no permanence. Why root out something that is not permanent? It's very nature is not established. It's a deception that gets repeated over and over. Seeing this, disenchantment begins to rise up. This is a wisdom factor that the teaching says leads to dispassion, and then release. Release from what? Deception, which is the idea of self, attachment/clinging, and becoming. To me, this all begins with Right View. Taking up practices without really understanding what you are doing turns into a practice of becoming, which is not what the Buddha taught. This is probably not easy to understand for most people, or maybe it took me longer than most. :lol:
Sorry, I don't mean to be contentious, but I am just unclear if you were quoting me to agree or disagree with what I said? Did you think I was saying "root out the self"? Because I don't think I said that.

I was however referring to guiding oneself gradually through insight towards the realization of no self... Anatta.

Anatta, being one of the three marks of existence of all beings.

As we guide ourselves to comprehend non-self, impermanence, and the reality of suffering, we begin to free ourselves.
You did say 'the goal of rooting out the 'you' or the 'self', likely needs to come from multiple angles...........'
I was referring this goal back to what the Buddha actually taught about seeing things the way they are which is not the same as 'rooting out' anything or establishing a 'self'.

When you practice satipatthana (mindfulness practice), you are not instructed to root out anything. You are instructed to be mindful of 4 areas, body, feeling, mind, and mind objects, the 4 foundations. You are not instructed to do anything about or to them in the satipatthana sutta. Insight rises because of the right conditions. You don't have to force or control your experience towards anything. I think it's important to get the foundation of this solidly in place, then insight(wisdom) can lead to its natural conclusion.

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archaic
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by archaic » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:00 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:15 am
archaic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:32 am


The importance of Right View can't be underestimated. If we just pursue various practices without foundation, we get a mixture of results. Nothing is ever truly clear. The Buddha's teaching is not about 'rooting out the idea of self'. He never posited a self to be rooted out. Seeing things the way they are is not rooting out a self. It is seeing that there is not a self, just a chain of ideas that 'seem' to be a self but when inspected, have no permanence. Why root out something that is not permanent? It's very nature is not established. It's a deception that gets repeated over and over. Seeing this, disenchantment begins to rise up. This is a wisdom factor that the teaching says leads to dispassion, and then release. Release from what? Deception, which is the idea of self, attachment/clinging, and becoming. To me, this all begins with Right View. Taking up practices without really understanding what you are doing turns into a practice of becoming, which is not what the Buddha taught. This is probably not easy to understand for most people, or maybe it took me longer than most. :lol:
Sorry, I don't mean to be contentious, but I am just unclear if you were quoting me to agree or disagree with what I said? Did you think I was saying "root out the self"? Because I don't think I said that.

I was however referring to guiding oneself gradually through insight towards the realization of no self... Anatta.

Anatta, being one of the three marks of existence of all beings.

As we guide ourselves to comprehend non-self, impermanence, and the reality of suffering, we begin to free ourselves.
You did say 'the goal of rooting out the 'you' or the 'self', likely needs to come from multiple angles...........'
I was referring this goal back to what the Buddha actually taught about seeing things the way they are which is not the same as 'rooting out' anything or establishing a 'self'.

When you practice satipatthana (mindfulness practice), you are not instructed to root out anything. You are instructed to be mindful of 4 areas, body, feeling, mind, and mind objects, the 4 foundations. You are not instructed to do anything about or to them in the satipatthana sutta. Insight rises because of the right conditions. You don't have to force or control your experience towards anything. I think it's important to get the foundation of this solidly in place, then insight(wisdom) can lead to its natural conclusion.
If both the path and the practice are awareness of reality, and the reality is one of non self, then I don't see how anything I said violates this. I think what you are pointing out is a case of semantics because you feel that I was advocating an active process of discovering non-self, whereas you feel it should be a passive process?

If this is an important distinction for you, I'm not sure what you think of:
"teaching on anatta aims to completely remove all these identifications and the corresponding attachments to a sense of self"
-Satipatthana The Direct Path to Realization, Analayo, pg. 210.

In my mind, a sense of self is a defilement of the mind, and efforts to destroy defilements of the mind are part of the path. If one can eliminate desire/craving for existence of self, one eliminates suffering.

"Give up the aggregates, for none of the is truly your own" is a quote by Buddha which I believe also pertains to the active process of giving up the illusion of self.

Anyways I don't think this is going anywhere, I was trying to provide what insight I could to the OP but getting pulled into an intellectual debate on semantics has no attraction to me, I'd rather meditate. I mean no ill will when I say that this kind of stuff is why I don't post very often.

Much Metta to you
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Saengnapha
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:25 am

Also, in the Alagaddūpama Sutta MN 22:

“Buddha is stating that he teaches that a living being is not a self but a mere conglomeration of factors, material and mental events, linked together in a process that is inherently dukkha, and that Nibbāna, the cessation of suffering, is not the annihilation of a being but the termination of that same unsatisfactory process. This statement should be read in conjunction with SN 12:15/ii.17, where the Buddha says that one with right view, who has discarded all doctrines of a self, sees that whatever arises is only dukkha arising, and whatever ceases is only dukkha ceasing.”

Excerpt From: Nanamoli, Bhikkhu. “The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha.”

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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:07 pm

one_awakening wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:36 am
I don't think it's something that you want to "root out". It comes back to mindfulness. Simply observe the rising and passing away of thoughts. If you can maintain the continuity of mindfulness, then the true nature of thoughts will reveal themselves. Then you will come to the realization that they are simply impersonal processes that rise and pass away.
I can observe the transience and conditionality of thoughts, but I'd be interested to know how you go about realising the "impersonal" aspect of thoughts, practically speaking.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:10 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:07 pm
but I'd be interested to know how you go about realising the "impersonal" aspect of thoughts, practically speaking.
The intention
to see thoughts as impersonal
is enough
neither eternal identity, nor annihilation

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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by alfa » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:19 am

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:10 pm
Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:07 pm
but I'd be interested to know how you go about realising the "impersonal" aspect of thoughts, practically speaking.
The intention
to see thoughts as impersonal
is enough
How are thoughts impersonal? :?

Saengnapha
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:31 am

alfa wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:19 am
cappuccino wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:10 pm
Spiny Norman wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:07 pm
but I'd be interested to know how you go about realising the "impersonal" aspect of thoughts, practically speaking.
The intention
to see thoughts as impersonal
is enough
How are thoughts impersonal? :?
They are not 'yours'. The habit of identification with them as a sign that there is a central agent that they belong to is revealed as false.

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cappuccino
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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by cappuccino » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:36 am

alfa wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:19 am
How are thoughts impersonal?
having no personality
neither eternal identity, nor annihilation

Saengnapha
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:37 am

archaic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:00 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:15 am
archaic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:20 am


Sorry, I don't mean to be contentious, but I am just unclear if you were quoting me to agree or disagree with what I said? Did you think I was saying "root out the self"? Because I don't think I said that.

I was however referring to guiding oneself gradually through insight towards the realization of no self... Anatta.

Anatta, being one of the three marks of existence of all beings.

As we guide ourselves to comprehend non-self, impermanence, and the reality of suffering, we begin to free ourselves.
You did say 'the goal of rooting out the 'you' or the 'self', likely needs to come from multiple angles...........'
I was referring this goal back to what the Buddha actually taught about seeing things the way they are which is not the same as 'rooting out' anything or establishing a 'self'.

When you practice satipatthana (mindfulness practice), you are not instructed to root out anything. You are instructed to be mindful of 4 areas, body, feeling, mind, and mind objects, the 4 foundations. You are not instructed to do anything about or to them in the satipatthana sutta. Insight rises because of the right conditions. You don't have to force or control your experience towards anything. I think it's important to get the foundation of this solidly in place, then insight(wisdom) can lead to its natural conclusion.
If both the path and the practice are awareness of reality, and the reality is one of non self, then I don't see how anything I said violates this. I think what you are pointing out is a case of semantics because you feel that I was advocating an active process of discovering non-self, whereas you feel it should be a passive process?

If this is an important distinction for you, I'm not sure what you think of:
"teaching on anatta aims to completely remove all these identifications and the corresponding attachments to a sense of self"
-Satipatthana The Direct Path to Realization, Analayo, pg. 210.

In my mind, a sense of self is a defilement of the mind, and efforts to destroy defilements of the mind are part of the path. If one can eliminate desire/craving for existence of self, one eliminates suffering.

"Give up the aggregates, for none of the is truly your own" is a quote by Buddha which I believe also pertains to the active process of giving up the illusion of self.

Anyways I don't think this is going anywhere, I was trying to provide what insight I could to the OP but getting pulled into an intellectual debate on semantics has no attraction to me, I'd rather meditate. I mean no ill will when I say that this kind of stuff is why I don't post very often.

Much Metta to you
Perhaps it's semantics, perhaps not. I don't subscribe to 'destroying', 'eliminating' defilements like desire/craving/becoming/ being. I do subscribe to nibbida, the disenchantment, viraga, the dispassion, towards all phenomena, experience which leads to release from all this. If my point is either not agreed to or subscribed to, that's okay. But, that is sort of where I'm at. Btw, I didn't think you meant any ill will so not to worry.

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Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:34 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:31 am
They are not 'yours'. The habit of identification with them as a sign that there is a central agent that they belong to is revealed as false.
OK, but this seems like an intellectual understanding. How does one actually observe this non-ownership, practically speaking?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: How to stop associating yourself with your thoughts?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:40 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:34 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:31 am
They are not 'yours'. The habit of identification with them as a sign that there is a central agent that they belong to is revealed as false.
OK, but this seems like an intellectual understanding. How does one actually observe this non-ownership, practically speaking?
In your practice of mindfulness, the insight rises that these are only thoughts, only feelings. That there is no one really behind the door. That ownership is not different than the thoughts and feelings. An unmistakable conviction takes place. You just know it.

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