Yet another self-enquiry practice

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acordemos ', modified 1 Year ago at 1/4/23 4:26 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/4/23 4:24 PM

Yet another self-enquiry practice

Posts: 30 Join Date: 4/24/18 Recent Posts
There are a lot of self-enquiry practices out there, and I think that is good, we need to probe what we assume to be reality from different angles until no stone is left unturned. I would like to share some opening ones that came to me spontaneously during a recent retreat. They are 3 questions, and under each some pointers on what to be looking for.
May this serve awakening.

Question yourself:
1. Who am I?
Who am I before birth? Who am I after I die? What does it feel like in my head, in this space and in my heart right now? Tune into the contrast between who you think you are and who you think you are not. Why am I not this chair? Why am I not that tree? Where exactly does the tree end and “I” start?
2. When am I?
Looking at past and future, when do I feel more like “me”? When do I stop being “me” and become just a memory or a fantasy? Watch the contrast between the “present” and the past and between the present and the future. What makes this moment feel more like the present? Am I more “now” than in the past? Where exactly is the split? What experience of “when” do I have before birth, after death, in ancient history? When in time does it feel like in my head and in my body right now?
3. Where am I?
Where is the center of my experience right now? Where does it feel in space? Is it in the body? Where does the body end and “out there” starts? Tune into precisely that edge where the split occurs, make it last a little bit longer so you can take a good look at it. Are bits of me also in that external sound?

Repeat these exercises over and over in your meditation. They are especially insightful in walking meditation as I find walking prevents your mind from being fixated on a comfortable space in awareness. Your mind will come up with different answers. When you get to a point where you have no answer, you know you reached a good spot. You’ve dislocated the sense of self for that question. Stay there and just enjoy the lightness of that “not knowing”.

Remember that self enquiry practices, like most techniques can be done at any time in your formal practice, or your day to day activities. Different situations open up different angles to explore.
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 8:20 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 8:20 AM

RE: Yet another self-enquiry practice

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Great questions!
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 8:35 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/5/23 8:31 AM

RE: Yet another self-enquiry practice

Posts: 1752 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Sometimes when I notice thoughts, emotions, impulses, sensory experience, and senses of self arising in my mind I ask: "Who produced that? Who asked for that? Where did it come from? How did that happen? Not me, not mine."

I think of self-enquiry as being similar to observing anatta of the three characteristics. When you look for self, you only find things that are not-self.