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A few weird thoughts

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A few weird thoughts
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6/21/11 4:33 PM
Just like the title says: just a collection of weird thoughts that have occurred to me recently in regards to insight meditation. Just thought I'd share.

Vipassana feels like, to me, sorta like opening up the "task manager" on a computer: it enables you to see and monitor the programs and processes are running. And the sense of "self" is just one of those processes.

For any Portal fans out there: becoming aware of the "Watcher" felt like coming face to face (so to speak) with GLaDOS for the first time (i.e. like the queen bee of the hive...).

[Stuff like this is, to me, why there will always need to be new works on spirituality, even though it's all, really, the same: to provide new metaphors that we might be able to relate to more easily than those about, for instance, cows and farming n stuff.]

"Insight" as it's used in this context seems, to me, a misnomer and even misleading. I feel like "change in the nature of one's perception of reality" is more accurate. I guess I think that because the typical connotation of "insight" is more intellectual and concrete than the sorts of experiences that I've felt with vipassana so far....

I started attempting to do this mental thing where noting was one mirror, and noting the noting was another mirror, facing the first mirror. Result: infinite mirrors. It was actually quite difficult to set up, and I think I only maintained it for a few moments. I doubt that this has anything to do with anything (it was basically just tinkering around with anatta), but it was fun and trippy nonetheless.

Speaking of noting that one is noting, at some age, a child attains self-realization--what I mean is, they become aware that they are aware. Leo Tolstoy wrote about this in Childhood, Boyhood, Youth, and how it drove him crazy for a little while. I had had the same experience, and I assume everyone does at some point to some degree as well. What it's interesting to me about it is that this seems, to me, quite close to the perception of anatta and, ultimately, completely letting go of the illusion of self. It makes me wonder if, when I had those thoughts as a kid, I had pressed on and intensified such ruminations instead of trying to suppress them, I would have stumbled into A&P or something.

RE: A few weird thoughts
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6/21/11 4:48 PM as a reply to Morgan Taylor.
Morgan Taylor:

Speaking of noting that one is noting, at some age, a child attains self-realization--what I mean is, they become aware that they are aware. Leo Tolstoy wrote about this in Childhood, Boyhood, Youth, and how it drove him crazy for a little while. I had had the same experience, and I assume everyone does at some point to some degree as well. What it's interesting to me about it is that this seems, to me, quite close to the perception of anatta and, ultimately, completely letting go of the illusion of self. It makes me wonder if, when I had those thoughts as a kid, I had pressed on and intensified such ruminations instead of trying to suppress them, I would have stumbled into A&P or something.


One of my earliest recollections of childhood self-investigation is pretty cool.. I would just be sitting around, doing whatever, and think about how I was alive. That I was skin and bones and breathing, and there was this stuff around like a house, other people and things.. and we were all on this Earth in this huge universe. And it used to trip me the fuck out. I would just think, "wait, I'm really alive? There's really all this life here? Whoa." I would try to trace it back to find out what it came from as far as I could and it would feel like my head was swelling up and it got too intense and I'd just stop. And come back to it another time and never come to any conclusions about what all this life actually was. I was totally prepping myself for insight apparently.. hahaha.

RE: A few weird thoughts
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6/21/11 5:49 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Wow, Steph, that's beautiful. emoticon I think it's easy to forget how deep kids can be. But it makes sense that they would be: they're literally discovering for the first time what it means to be alive and human.

I remember having a very powerful sad thought that was effectively about impermanence at the age of 8: I had had a fabulous day with my dad at the beach and felt a strong wish to have days like that happen all the time (being a carefree kid, making my dad laugh, etc.), which came with a corresponding realization of profound loss that I would eventually get old and things would change, and there would be a time when days like that never occurred again. And I was right: my dad was a maniac (who apparently was on good behavior that day--god, no wonder I was familiar with impermanence; my dad would flip out at a moment's notice...), and I haven't seen him since I was 13.