Exercising non-self

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by ScottPen ScottPen 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #42193

    Anonymous

    Living non-self exercise.

    Difficult for some more than others but should get easier the more one tries.

    Going about throughout the day, imagine all as part of your body.

    Every insect who you meet. Every dog and cat and horse. Every human. Every tree and shrub. Every “non-living” thing too. Every chair, table, bench. Every speck of dust.

    Your prejudices will rankle.
    Those of a speciesist bent, even if kind, will be rankled at thinking of fellow animals as an extension of their being. Those with resentment at certain humans will be loathe to include them.
    But, no sooner does a scowl or look of disgust begin to distort your features, remember that being is also you, and the scowl or angry word will be stillborn.

  • #42269

    steve mareno
    Participant

    An interesting exercise. I like mindfulness for this, as it puts us out of our reasoning, analytical mindset and allows what you describe to actually become the reality that all things are one. That reality is there all the time, but we don’t see it.

    Mindfulness is something I don’t do enough. When I have used it, the world becomes a totally different place. Or rather, I become totally different. The world is always no more and no less than just what it is. We begin to see cause and effect instantaneously because “I” is not filtering everything through our likes and dislikes. The difference between being in the world mindfully is startling compared to my usual daily reality.

    It’s a devilishly simple meditation, but one that is extremely difficult to maintain…….instead of being locked into my head and attaching to my never ending thoughts, I simply focus on my breath whilst out and about. That’s what I do in my Zen mediation as well, but when you’re actively engaged in the world in real time instead of sitting on a cushion at home or in the zendo, it is a very different thing.

    It definitely wakes us up to the reality that what we THINK is reality during our daily life is simply an ego derived illusion.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  steve mareno.
  • #42273

    Anonymous

    It is useful for me because I regularly encounter a man who dislikes me and whispers abuse as he passes by. 🙂

  • #42275
    kauva
    kauva
    Participant

    Why perform mental gymnastics to stretch that exercise out of non-self? Read the Isha upanshad. The same self that flows through me is in everything else as well. I dont have to “imagine” we are all tied together because we are. It’s just some of those things lack sensory apparatus and a mind to turn such awareness into sentience.

  • #42276

    Anonymous

    I should have said, remember, or bear it in mind. One can know something intellectually, but find one’s behaviour not in accord with one’s intellectual knowledge. So strong are the illusions we have woven around us.
    Someone says something hurtful and mean, and one wants to immediately retaliate, thus provoking more bad karma.

  • #42324

    steve mareno
    Participant

    “Someone says something hurtful and mean, and one wants to immediately retaliate……”

    Exactly. This is how it almost always starts, and snowballs downhill from there. If “I” am not operating, then there is no “me” to take offense. If we are not mindful and present we slide into habitual ways of dealing with people or things that we dislike. These toxic thoughts and behaviors are powerful, entrenched due to constant repetition almost from birth. This really can’t be consciously unlearned, but in mindfulness the ego is deactivated and we deal only with “what is” w/o triggering decades old patterns of habitual thoughts and behaviors. “Me” is the source of all my suffering, not other people.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  steve mareno.
  • #42367
    ScottPen
    ScottPen
    Participant

    Why perform mental gymnastics to stretch that exercise out of non-self? Read the Isha upanshad. The same self that flows through me is in everything else as well. I dont have to “imagine” we are all tied together because we are. It’s just some of those things lack sensory apparatus and a mind to turn such awareness into sentience.

    Being cognitively aware of anatta, interdependence, and dependent arising doesn’t mean one understands the concepts. Understanding the concepts doesn’t mean one truly accepts them as truth. It may be more skillful for you to be less glib about this.

    Please consider this: these concepts are simultaneously very important to practicing the dharma and very difficult for many practitioners to fully wrap their heads around. If a person wanders onto this site and sees a thread in which this difficulty is swept aside as nothing more than a matter of reading comprehension, that person may feel stupid since it’s apparently supposed to be easy. Posting what helps you is awesome, but please try to do so in a way that keeps in mind the fact that lots of folks are struggling with this stuff every day.

    ______________________________
    "May all beings be at ease!" - Siddartha Gautama... probably... maybe... ah, who cares?

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