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IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/4/12 3:05 PM
When I observe my thoughts, I find quite easy the identification, the root of the suffering related to each thought.
Is strange because I feel like each thought brought one different image of myself. Like everything passing in my mind were telling me different things about me.

I think is related with the ego and all this stuff. My problem is that once I recognice the thought and the identification that it brings I dont get to beat it, to solve the problem. Is like the only solution were try to avoid this thoughts.

I dont know what to do, or what is the next step. Maybe try to observe more and more this identification, or not.

I dont know what to search, or if I have to reject the identification with a kind of negation.

Help!

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/4/12 4:20 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
Don't focus on the identification. It's just another experience. Note it, and then continue to attend to and note what arises.

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/5/12 9:40 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
But, as I understand from my noob point of view. Once you see the suffering, the next step is to end with it. And this is the thing I dont know how to do.

Maybe I have a very long path ahead to get that. Otherwise, what is the way to finish it (suffering)

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/5/12 10:44 AM as a reply to Paul Rig.
I'd say keep watching suffering, you have to watch stuff for a while before you become totally clear on what its causes are. You begin to see which intentions are arising and passing away simultaneously with some aspect of suffering and you eventually lose your attachment to creating those fabrications when you see time and time again the suffering they cause.

In the 4 noble truths, there are also 4 duties that go along with the truths, the duty that goes along with the truth of suffering is to comprehend its cause, its not until the truth of the cause of suffering that you start aiming to let go of it. So keep observing it, without trying to stop it, because that will cloud your ability to recognize its cause, once its cause becomes clear, the letting go is automatic, just as if you were clenching your fists so tightly that it was painful, as soon as you recognized that you were causing the unnecessary pain through your intentions you stop without a thought, you don't really need to worry about the letting go, just the comprehending to a sufficient degree.

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/5/12 4:47 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
When the urge to stop/avoid your thoughts comes up, look at that too. It could shed some very interesting light on both free will and aversion - is there some innate ability to stop thought? what is the aversion to thoughts arising?

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/6/12 3:01 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
First thank you all for all the responses, for me is a very good help : )

So instead of trying to stop the suffering by myself, I continue observing how it arises? I have to understand it until the point it dissapears by itself?

Ok right. So when I am meditating, focusing on my breath for example, and one thought comes, what should I do?
1.Letting it pass, like noting it and go for the next event? OR
2.Try to observe it, like replacing breathing (as the object) by this thought and, by this way go deeper in the understanding of it?

Reading D.Ingram I remember some exercices in wich you had to do that second option. But when I try to do that, I feel like im paying attention to something that is not there anymore. I mean, the thought passed, the suffering passed too, how can I mantain this thing to observe it longer?


I will share what I actually do. When I recognice one thought, Im able to see more or less how it makes me feel (related to my identity).
I can see how my perception of myself is changing in every thought, how when I think that, I feel myself as this person, and at the next second I feel myself as this other. Sometimes I can see some logic, like, if I think about this friend, I feel myself like that, if my father comes to my mind, I feel myself in this other way (somethign about roles I think). Other times my identity is not the same even being with the same person, and I dont know what depends on.

I said that in every thought my 'self' is changing, so Im starting to understand the non-self. But also I feel like depending on the moment, I can tend to more positive or negative identifications, during some period of time, like having good or bad days. Is like the identifications and the suffering that they brings remains farther that the moment you feel them. Or maybe the fact is that you tend to have this thoughts and the feelings they bring more often during some period of time (like if you activate some subconscious thoughts that involve you creating a snowball)

Another question is, what is the thing you call cause? Because for me I can say, ok, the cause of the suffering right now is this thought. Or, the cause of this feeling is the fact that when I think about this friend of mine, I experiment the role I created I dont now how or why in our 'relation'.
How can you describe this 'cause' and how you experiment it?

Thanks (sorry for my english)

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/6/12 4:03 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
I will share what I actually do. When I recognice one thought, Im able to see more or less how it makes me feel (related to my identity). I can see how my perception of myself is changing in every thought, how when I think that, I feel myself as this person, and at the next second I feel myself as this other. Sometimes I can see some logic, like, if I think about this friend, I feel myself like that, if my father comes to my mind, I feel myself in this other way (somethign about roles I think). Other times my identity is not the same even being with the same person, and I dont know what depends on.


These are good insights, what were you doing to figure these out? I would guess that you simply observed thoughts and sensations and emotions and you started to see what was happening.

You don't have to try to keep the thoughts around or anything like that. Ultimately the cause of the identity-based thoughts and feelings is your ignorance and craving, these are ended through insight. Insight comes through awareness with equanimity and without preconceived notions, you will see how objects of experience you thought were solid are actually just a shimmering mass of sensations, and then there is nothing to cling to.

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/6/12 4:05 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
The correct advice here probably depends on how stable your concentration is, and how positive/negative the identifications you're experiencing are. When you rest attention on the breath, how long do you think that usually lasts before some kind of thinking comes to dominate attention instead? And how long do you think it is taking for you to notice when that happens? (These things are probably impossible to measure at the moment. Honest rough estimates are fine.) Do the thoughts tend to the negative or the positive?

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/6/12 10:10 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
First thank you all for all the responses, for me is a very good help : )


You're welcome. Glad to help. emoticon

So instead of trying to stop the suffering by myself, I continue observing how it arises? I have to understand it until the point it dissapears by itself?


So it seems you are starting to catch onto a no-self insight here, although side stepping it a bit. You say "instead of trying to stop the suffering by myself" and then you say "until the point it dissapears by itself". Yes, sensations disappear automatically. That's precisely the point that must be directly comprehended with further practice - all sensations arise and pass on their own. There is nobody making them arise or pass.

Ok right. So when I am meditating, focusing on my breath for example, and one thought comes, what should I do?
1.Letting it pass, like noting it and go for the next event? OR
2.Try to observe it, like replacing breathing (as the object) by this thought and, by this way go deeper in the understanding of it?


Play around with both options and see what happens - see if it has any impact on how things are perceived.

Reading D.Ingram I remember some exercices in wich you had to do that second option. But when I try to do that, I feel like im paying attention to something that is not there anymore. I mean, the thought passed, the suffering passed too, how can I mantain this thing to observe it longer?


That's a good start if it seems like attention is trying to hold something that isn't there anymore. Examine it very well every time it's noticed there's a feeling of trying to catch onto something that's already gone. Understanding this is ultra important for gaining insight into what clinging is.

I said that in every thought my 'self' is changing, so Im starting to understand the non-self. But also I feel like depending on the moment, I can tend to more positive or negative identifications, during some period of time, like having good or bad days. Is like the identifications and the suffering that they brings remains farther that the moment you feel them. Or maybe the fact is that you tend to have this thoughts and the feelings they bring more often during some period of time (like if you activate some subconscious thoughts that involve you creating a snowball)


This also relates well to impermanence - to see things constantly changing. Keep noticing what it's like to not be able to maintain a stable entity or aspect of "yourself".

Another question is, what is the thing you call cause? Because for me I can say, ok, the cause of the suffering right now is this thought. Or, the cause of this feeling is the fact that when I think about this friend of mine, I experiment the role I created I dont now how or why in our 'relation'. How can you describe this 'cause' and how you experiment it?


Are you asking if cause is when it feels like one sensation leads to another sensation coming up? Yea, you can use that to examine. It goes much deeper than that even, though. There are lots of false assumptions that can occur with examination of cause and effect. What is thought to cause certain things to arise, often times isn't true. Don't start intellectually analyzing this while you're meditating. Be patient with this one and just pay really close attention to the types of sensations that occur when it seems like one thing causes another.

Have fun,
Steph

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/7/12 6:21 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:


These are good insights, what were you doing to figure these out? I would guess that you simply observed thoughts and sensations and emotions and you started to see what was happening.


Actually this kind of insight is something I started to have since very very young. When I was in primary school I used to think: Why I feel like I was this person when I am with this friends and so different when I am with this others? It was like with some people I felt stupid and with others I felt better. In fact I dont think is something so rare. I think everyone had this experience.

But I think is related with this non self, and even when is something common is a kind of insight.

So with the years I saw this more clear, and I turned obsessed with it, whit this constant changing that bothered me so hard.
At the beginning I didnt now anything about meditation and how the self is not permanent, so I thought it was not ususal and I had a problem, like bipolarity or something like this.

Even the fact of being more conscius of it was worst to me: When I was in a social situation and I discovered myself feeling bad, it was worst, like I became blocked by that, more nervous. Sometimes the opposite: If I noticed that I was acting free, without social fears, this freedom was improved, sometimes extremly, until the point I could see how people around me notized it too, like thinking: 'this guy is different today, what happens?'

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/7/12 6:29 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
The correct advice here probably depends on how stable your concentration is, and how positive/negative the identifications you're experiencing are. When you rest attention on the breath, how long do you think that usually lasts before some kind of thinking comes to dominate attention instead? And how long do you think it is taking for you to notice when that happens? (These things are probably impossible to measure at the moment. Honest rough estimates are fine.) Do the thoughts tend to the negative or the positive?


When Im focusing on the breath and Im very concentrated I can see what I think almost in the moment, so I am conscius about it and I try to go back to the breath (some thoughts are easier to let them pass than others). When Im not very concentrated the most thing that distracts me from the breathing is something I dont know how to describe. Instead of some thoughts coming to replace my breath, is like I have not clarity to keep focused on something, like it was a mist in my thoughts.

I guess that this 'mist' is in fact a lot of thoughts that Im not aware to perceive yet.

And about if they are more negative or possitive. I dont know, because as I said, sometimes depends on the moment. Maybe in the morning I tend to have negative thoughts, and in the night I tend to have very possitive ones. Sometimes this negative or positive is not related to identity, but with the exercice itself, like I feel im doing it right, or, this is for nothing...

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/7/12 3:24 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
This is dullness, which as it happens is being discussed over here this week. I notice that your first post talked about observing thoughts. Do you also attend to physical sensations? Attending to all six sensations at once is often a fast way out of dullness, for me.

When the observation is clear and stable, the next step is further insight practice. When you see an identification, what collection of sensations is construed as the identification? Are they stable? What is experiencing the identification?

Addendum: When you feel like you're doing it right, or feel like it's for nothing, that is also a good time to attend to all six senses.

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/8/12 8:02 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
This is dullness, which as it happens is being discussed over here this week. I notice that your first post talked about observing thoughts. Do you also attend to physical sensations? Attending to all six sensations at once is often a fast way out of dullness, for me.


In fact I use to pay more atention to the breath, physical sensations, where sometimes I recognice some thoughts coming, specially in the times between inspiration and expiration (when the air is not passing through my throat). I noticed also how if I want to pay attention equally to my physical and psychic sensations, I mean, not closing the atention so much to one object, is more difficult. Even if Im paying atention only to physyc sensations, its difficult to open my awareness beyond my breath without loosing some precission and speed.

Yesterday I was focusing on my breath and I was having very good concentration. I was only sitting and experiencing just the present moment all the time, very cool. So I decided to mix two objects at the same time: I started to hit the floor with two finguers, trying to be aware of every hit at the moment, and at the same time trying to be aware also of the breathing. It was like I could pay attention quite deeply to one object and the several sensations that it has, and then I had to change to the other object to perceive the sensations of this other, but it was difficult to mix both. I mean, I think the perfect way of doing it is perceiving several sensations, one after one, but from both objects mixed.

fivebells .:
When the observation is clear and stable, the next step is further insight practice. When you see an identification, what collection of sensations is construed as the identification? Are they stable? What is experiencing the identification?


When I see identification, It use to happens when Im doing another exercice (the one I talked about in the other post 'What is happening to me'). Its quite simple, I think about one situation, person, memory..., and an identification comes automatically. Its very easy to see it because some sensation of suffering, or joy comes with it, sometimes deeper than others. For example: I think about last night in the bar and how this girl rejected me, even laughing about me. Obiously some thoughts of suffering comes and its very easy so relate this suffering to it. You feel ridiculous. You automatically question your skills as a lover, you feel yourself maybe ugly. You lost your confidence by some moments, while you think about it.
Sometimes is not so obvious because you think about something and this feelings come with it, and you dont know how are they related, why i feel bad when I think about it.
Other example is you go to some friends house and you automatically take a role in that situation, in comparation with the others, this role is changing constantly. But sometimes I pay atenttion to this and I can stop it in real time. I mean, I notice the identification Im having in the moment and I reject it intellectually.
Its hard...

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/8/12 2:03 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
Well, Pablo. I offer you a surefire way to become enlightened.

The method:

1) Sit still.

2) Is something bothering you?

3) What is it?

4) Is there something you can do about it?

5) Go do it.

As Jed McKenna said:

"Go jump off a cliff. Don’t go near the cliff and contemplate jumping off. Don’t read a book about jumping off. Don’t study the art and science of jumping off. Don’t join a support group for jumping off. Don’t write poems about jumping off. Don’t kiss the ass of someone else who jumped off. Just jump." - Jed McKenna

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/8/12 2:06 PM as a reply to Paul Rig.
You would likely benefit from prioritizing attention to physical sensations over mental ones for the time being. It is much easier to build capacity for broad attention if you do them in the traditional order: body, feelings, mind, phenomena. The body doesn't lie, but the mind lies all the time. The other advantage to the body is that you can build out attention to physical sensations gradually. The goenka series might be effective. Just keep extending the range of attention, and when attention collapses, start over from the beginning.

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/9/12 9:59 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
Ok. One thing more. When Im paying atenttion to breathing I have like two kind of ways of doing it and I dont know which is better.

1st option: This is the thing I've been doing until some days. So I focused on my breath and how does it feels truogh the throat, lips, tongue, etc... And here is the important point. It was like I was paying atenttion to 'what was happening' objectively. The attitude was kind of be aware of what happening with the breathing, what parts of my body where involved on it, how cold it was, how it descends through the throat, etc... Like if I was doing a diagnostic of the way breathing works.

2nd option: Much more difficult for me, but I have the intuition that is better. Having breathing as the object too, is like I pay atention to 'how I experiment whatever it is happening', I dont mind about understanding the breath, even what part of my body is getting involved on it. I only try to experiment the sensations it produces. I dont care if this thing Im experimenting is cold in the tongue or heat in the throat. My only aim is to be just in the exact moment of my sensations, and see what I am feeling now. I dont mind about the source.

My opinion is that the 2nd option is better because I dont look for a narrative pack of events that I could name or conceptualize (thing I think I do n the 1st). I only live the exactly present, forgetting the meaning.

My problem is that with the first way Im able to be much more focused and I perceive thing much more precisely...

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/9/12 10:58 AM as a reply to Paul Rig.
You're right, the second way is much better. Don't worry if it leads to attention wandering more often, just start over from the beginning when you notice.

RE: IDENTIFICATION
Answer
8/9/12 11:24 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
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