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About TDW1995

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  • Birthday 09/07/1995

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    Normal, IL
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  1. During self-inquiry, it's obvious to me that I can't be any part of the past since the now is all there is. Yet, memories of a past self are so sticky and hard to disidentify from when I'm in the presence of other people. My identity seems to be my self-image while interacting with people. My identity while around people is filtered through memories of past interactions I had with them, and I act in a way that's aligned with the self-image (a caring, kind person, etc.). I get discouraged because I do self-inquiry to challenge what I may identify with, and it seems beyond ludicrous to believe that I am a certain image of a past self. Does anyone else have a difficult time dropping the self-image? Why is this so difficult to overcome since it seems so obvious that the self-image is not really who I am?
  2. @Nak Khid Makes sense. I've never experienced anything without directly perceiving it. Yet, I assume things are there independent of direct observation. @Leo Gura Never thought of it that way! What I'm hearing you say is that only a "separate self" can believe it is sensing something. But, there may be no sensations at all since it implies a perceiver. Seems like a language game that must be transcended. I'll need to rewatch that episode for a refresher.
  3. Lately I've been using mindfulness meditation to deconstruct my assumption of a physical reality. I've also been questioning the idea of objects existing without direct observation. This has really opened my mind to the possibility that reality is not static. Recently, I have realized that I consider sight as the most primary of all the five senses. Without sight, I feel like I wouldn't be able to name "things" within reality. For example, when I close my eyes I can feel my "body", but does what I call the "body" exist while my eyes are closed? If not, then I rely on sight to attach names to "objects" within reality. And, when I think of the "body", an image comes to mind, not a feeling, hearing, smelling, or tasting sensation. This realization has made me wonder if any sensation is "above" another, like on a hierarchy. If I indeed realize that there is no hierarchy, and all senses are on the same level, I think that would be a very profound realization. I feel like I'm starting to make traction on breaking down the paradigm of objective reality, but not sure if I'm on the right track. Although I feel like I'm making progress, I still have a hard time shaking the idea that objects don't exist independent of perception. One major roadblock is the fact that reality seems so consistent. My bedroom looks the same from one night to the next. All "objects" stay in the same place. Sometimes I wonder, if reality doesn't consist of static objects, then why isn't everything randomized on a moment to moment basis?
  4. Meditation includes many different techniques and has the primary focus of calming the mind and accepting the present moment as it is. A busy mind is perfectly okay during meditation, but is not ideal for self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is more advanced and is solely focused on questioning the subject of experience: you. However, practicing meditation over time can be a great practice to calm the mind in order to do self-inquiry effectively. A calm mind, in my experience, is a prerequisite to self-inquiry in order to do the practice precisely. I'm not at the advanced stages of self-inquiry, but I do wonder if over many years of practice, if it will be difficult to distinguish the difference between meditation and self-inquiry.
  5. @silene I agree. The phrase "aware of awareness" sometimes makes my mind churn away, which is not at all what the phrase suggests. However, I do think it can be a very useful phrase for newbies starting out in this work because it can help them differentiate what is and what isn't considered awareness, or the True Self. Eventually the realization may come that subject and object merge into one. That description of Winston's book is helpful. I spend 10 minutes/day using an object for concentration, but all other meditation I do is the resting of attention and allowing what is to just be. I'm starting to notice that there isn't much of a difference between meditation and self-inquiry, although self-inquiry is more focused.
  6. @Leo Gura Yes, much work to do to question something that's such a strong hard-wired belief. @silene I sometimes do my self-inquiry at night while in the dark. It does seem to be helpful in a dark room for me as I'm much more focused. At times I am very focused and sit with the feeling of just Being, of what is, but then my mind will come up with the idea that once this body dies, awareness has to disappear. This logical brain of mine can't fathom anything else as a possibility.
  7. @Member To me, it sure feels like awareness comes from the body, but this is something I haven't deeply contemplated yet. Under my current paradigm, if I think of awareness being everywhere, my mind makes the conclusion that every object would have to have sentience, but I don't want to believe that. I have much contemplating to do to overcome these deeply held beliefs.
  8. @Spaceofawareness Thanks for that! I've had some confusion about what it means to be aware of awareness. But, the more I practice self-inquiry, the more clear it becomes that awareness comes before everything else.
  9. @Preetom Yes, I've been doing this process of elimination/Neti Neti type of self-inquiry for months. It's becoming more and more clear that there is "something" prior and more fundamental than all perceptions.
  10. @Leo Gura It's as simple as that. Sounds glorious Thanks for clearing things up.
  11. @Leo Gura Self-inquiry is incredibly simple yet my mind sometimes overcomplicates the practice. At moments I "feel" into the emptiness and realize that everything happens within this awareness/consciousness. It's so fundamental and simple, yet sometimes I wonder if there's something I'm overlooking. Thanks for the help!
  12. I often wonder if it is even possible to be aware of awareness. If our true nature is awareness, then aren't we "too close to ourself" to be aware of it? Some spiritual teachers often say that this is analogous to an eye trying to see itself or a flashlight shining light on itself. Obviously, an eye or a flashlight can't see or shine light on itself, so isn't this the same way as attempting to be aware of awareness? In my experience of self-inquiry, I am seeing that awareness can only be applied to objects, thoughts, emotions, etc. And because I am starting to realize more and more than no object is my true Self, I've been attempting to "rest my attention," so that I am not focused on any "thing" within awareness. Is this what is meant of "being aware of awareness?"
  13. March 19th Meditation and Spirituality Meditation: Strong Determination Sit (60 minutes)- I have been letting my mind go while I sit still for the full hour. Lately, my mind has been very busy, but I am not controlling it. Spirituality: Self-Inquiry (30 minutes)- The way I have been doing self-inquiry the past couple of days is asking the question, "Am I aware?" I learned this from a Rupert Spira video and it leads you directly to awareness. Health and Wellness I will be at my parent's house quite a bit since I am working from home now. I plan to continue to make fruit and vegetable smoothies on a regular basis and eat as healthy as I can. Also, I intend to get on a regular workout schedule since I have equipment at my parent's house to use. Even though my gym is close, I have everything I need here. Weekly Goal: Workout three days this week. Social Confidence Because much of the world is isolated right now, it is hard for me to work on interacting with others. However, I will continue to take any chance I get, and also continue to work on techniques each day to generate high self-esteem. Weekly Goal: Take bold action on the ranked three items of the fear hierarchy. Continue to work on the learned techniques from the book.
  14. March 18th Meditation and Spirituality Meditation: Strong Determination Sitting (60 minutes)- I stayed still the whole time. I noticed my mind and it was very active throughout the entire session. However, I let the mind go and watched what it did. Spirituality: Self-Inquiry (30 minutes)- I will typically do this in the morning, but today I will be doing it before bed. Health and Wellness Because I will be working at home due to the virus outbreak, I really want to concentrate on nutrition and exercise. It will now be possible to workout at home since I have a gym at home. I plan to work out three days this week. Weekly Goal: Workout three days this week. Social Confidence With the virus going on, it is hard to interact with people on a daily basis. I will be working at home, but I'll still be calling some clients. I plan to continue to work on techniques throughout being quarantined at home. Weekly Goal: Take bold action on the ranked three items of the fear hierarchy. Continue to work on the learned techniques from the book.
  15. March 17th Meditation and Spirituality Meditation: Strong Determination Sitting + Self-Inquiry (30 minutes)- Today I combined meditation and self-inquiry since it was an early morning, and I am very tired throughout the day. For a whole 30 minutes I didn't move and went very deep into the inquiry. This was after getting more clarity on what we are supposed to look for in self-inquiry after watching a Rupert Spira video. I was able to go beyond form and just put awareness on awareness itself. I kept asking, "Am I aware?" I can be aware of a sensation, but can I be aware of what is aware? I believe this was the deepest I've ever gone in self-inquiry. Health and Wellness My gym is closed due to the virus. This will not allow me to get in four workout days this week. However, I plan to stay on top of my nutrition. Social Confidence I am working on making eye contact with strangers and speaking up in groups at work. It is going well, and it is not as hard as I thought it would be. I plan to continue to take action on this throughout the week. Starting next week I will do more difficult tasks. Weekly Goal: Take bold action on the ranked three items of the fear hierarchy. Continue to work on the learned techniques from the book.