Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Who am I?

CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
edited April 2016 in Meditation

If pushed, I'd say the core of any Zen practice is striving for insight into the fundamentally brutal question of "Who am I?" Some practices try to sugar coat this by saying it's "What am I?" or "What is the nature of my mind?" or some such, but that's trying to elevate the question to some impersonal observation. It's saying "Draw me a map of the world" instead of "Show me the crappy place where you live."

The question, if asked correctly, is not impersonal. It's about as personal as you can get. To begin with, it's forcing you to see who you really are, not who you want to be. You're selfish and vain and timid and afraid and angry and miserable because you don't like being that. You're frustrated because of your job, or your income, or your relationships, or lack of all three. You're not as smart, or pretty, or talented as those people you see out there. That is who you are: one big mess.

So you want to be someone else. Here's where Zen comes in. Wanting to be someone else is making you miserable. People don't "change". They become. People never change who they are, they simply stop pretending to be someone else. This is called your "Buddha Nature."

Me, I'm a generous, easy-going guy who doesn't make many friends because I get bored with what passes for a life with most people. I have a low tolerance for bullies or bullshit and a smart mouth at times and I love to talk. That's who I've always been since I can remember. Anything beyond that is me trying to be someone else. For instance, I thought for a while I could be a Zen Master and spend my days contemplating the Emptiness of it all. I think that ended when I left Korea. My bullshit meter couldn't be ignored anymore, and believe me, a whole lot of what you think is Zen Buddhism is as much bullshit as any other practice. You know how the koan says, "If you meet Buddha on the road to enlightenment, kill him."? I didn't kill him, I just gave him a wedgie and laughed as I replace zazen with just sitting quietly, doing nothing. When the moment called for sitting quietly, doing nothing.

So for meditation, "Who am I?" can be a very personal question. Followed by "What the hell do I think I'm doing?" The answer might surprise you.

Thanks for listening.

yagrlobsterkarastiskyeVastmindnamarupamarcitko[Deleted User]Shoshin
«1

Comments

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:
    Thanks for listening.

    Always my pleasure.

    Have more to say but insufficient time at the moment and will use that time to consider your post some more.

    Cinorjer
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The profundity of the question "Who are you and what do you want?" cannot in any steadfast accuracy, be measured.

    Cinorjerlobster
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    You are me and I am you...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ^^ Not always so. ^^

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    I saw four young deer crossing the road yesterday.

    Does that count?

    FosdickCinorjer
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I think it is the hardest question and often the entire point of my practice. Who am I, and am I ok with who that is?
    But I also find that every day I ask a variety of questions, the answers change.

    "The simplest questions are the most profound.
    Where were you born?
    Where is your home?
    Where are you going?
    What are you doing?
    Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. "
    Richard Bach

    yagrCinorjerVastmind
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran
    edited April 2016

    "^^ Not always so. ^^"
    -I disagree; we are ALL stardust.
    Ps. Admin, when I post, the "quote" function isn't working for me...

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @Cinorjer said

    "Who am I?"

    For me, a more useful question has been "Who am I not ? ". I am not this, I am not that, I am not who I was 30 years ago, I am not who I will be tomorrow. At the end of this process, what is left? One's own unique and present state of conditioned existence is left. Pare that away and what remains? Who am I? Who am I not? No answer, only silence.

    That's where I always end up, at any rate.

    CinorjerBunkslobsterVastmind
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Will_Baker said:
    "^^ Not always so. ^^"
    -I disagree; we are ALL stardust.
    Ps. Admin, when I post, the "quote" function isn't working for me...

    Works for me! please check this thread....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Will_Baker said:
    "^^ Not always so. ^^"
    -I disagree; we are ALL stardust.

    Yes. But you are your particular cluster. As am I.

  • @Will_Baker said:
    You are me and I am you...

    That's true. It's also true to say, you are you, and I am me.

    I know what I am, but what are you?

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I'll steal a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
    Love is knowing I am everything,
    and between the two my life moves.”

    Aren't we all just hallucinations i.e. an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present?

    CinorjerlobsterVastmind
  • Who am I?

    Almost original self!

    Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté. Bodhi! Svaha!

    Cinorjerlobster
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    "Who am I?" Do you mean, besides a spiritual being having a human experience?

  • @Dakini said:
    "Who am I?" Do you mean, besides a spiritual being having a human experience?

    Or a human being having a spiritual experience?

  • @Bunks said:
    I'll steal a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
    Love is knowing I am everything,
    and between the two my life moves.”

    Aren't we all just hallucinations i.e. an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present?

    Still seems to me, might be coming down slightly on the impersonal side of the question. If someone walks up and says, "Hi, who are you?" would you say "Just a hallucination."?

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:
    I'll steal a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
    Love is knowing I am everything,
    and between the two my life moves.”

    Aren't we all just hallucinations i.e. an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present?

    Still seems to me, might be coming down slightly on the impersonal side of the question. If someone walks up and says, "Hi, who are you?" would you say "Just a hallucination."?

    No - I'd say Luke (which is a shortened version of the label my parents gave the five aggregates that arose 44 years ago).

    These kind of questions just confuse me.....I guess that's the whole point!

    Cinorjer
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited April 2016

    @Bunks said:

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:
    I'll steal a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
    Love is knowing I am everything,
    and between the two my life moves.”

    Aren't we all just hallucinations i.e. an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present?

    Still seems to me, might be coming down slightly on the impersonal side of the question. If someone walks up and says, "Hi, who are you?" would you say "Just a hallucination."?

    No - I'd say Luke (which is a shortened version of the label my parents gave the five aggregates that arose 44 years ago).

    These kind of questions just confuse me.....I guess that's the whole point!

    Marvelous! That's the Zen spirit. I bow to you. No other answer is as true as the one you just gave.

    lobsterVastmind
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    I'm Seeker242! And you are Cinorjer. Anymore questions? Hehe :)

    Cinorjer
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    My Zen teacher's teacher, Soen Nakagawa Roshi, once said, "There is birth and there is death. In between, there is enlightenment."

    The Korean Zen teacher Soen Sa Nim was once asked at a public meeting to respond to a statement from the audience. The audience member said, "Sometimes, when I meditate, I feel like such a complete schmuck."

    Soen Sa Nim replied: "You're either a Buddha or a schmuck. There is no in-between."

    Threading the needle in this world makes me feel like the impatient kid fidgeting on a cross-country road trip: "Are we there yet?!"

    CinorjerlobsterVastmind
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:
    I'll steal a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
    Love is knowing I am everything,
    and between the two my life moves.”

    Aren't we all just hallucinations i.e. an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present?

    Still seems to me, might be coming down slightly on the impersonal side of the question. If someone walks up and says, "Hi, who are you?" would you say "Just a hallucination."?

    No - I'd say Luke (which is a shortened version of the label my parents gave the five aggregates that arose 44 years ago).

    These kind of questions just confuse me.....I guess that's the whole point!

    Marvelous! That's the Zen spirit. I bow to you. No other answer is as true as the one you just gave.

    Which paragraph? :)

  • @Bunks said:

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:
    I'll steal a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
    Love is knowing I am everything,
    and between the two my life moves.”

    Aren't we all just hallucinations i.e. an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present?

    Still seems to me, might be coming down slightly on the impersonal side of the question. If someone walks up and says, "Hi, who are you?" would you say "Just a hallucination."?

    No - I'd say Luke (which is a shortened version of the label my parents gave the five aggregates that arose 44 years ago).

    These kind of questions just confuse me.....I guess that's the whole point!

    Marvelous! That's the Zen spirit. I bow to you. No other answer is as true as the one you just gave.

    Which paragraph? :)

    "I'm Luke."

    Whoever Luke is, whatever Luke is, that's you.

  • @genkaku said:
    My Zen teacher's teacher, Soen Nakagawa Roshi, once said, "There is birth and there is death. In between, there is enlightenment."

    The Korean Zen teacher Soen Sa Nim was once asked at a public meeting to respond to a statement from the audience. The audience member said, "Sometimes, when I meditate, I feel like such a complete schmuck."

    Soen Sa Nim replied: "You're either a Buddha or a schmuck. There is no in-between."

    Threading the needle in this world makes me feel like the impatient kid fidgeting on a cross-country road trip: "Are we there yet?!"

    And of course the proper answer is always, "We'll get there when we get there!"

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited April 2016

    I'm Dave or David depending on your preference. For some reason most women like to call me David while most men prefer Dave. As long as you don't call me late for dinner we're good.

    I'm not sure if I'm as much of a who as I used to be but in some ways I might be more. In some ways I seem the same guy I've always been but in others I am unrecognizable from the past.

    I am who and what I am and that's good enough for me even if that's just an ever changing process headed toward cessation.

    I'm not of the mind set where the individual self must be abandoned and feel an expansion seems more appropriate. I do not deny my existence as an individual even as it is convention or a tool of exploration. I do not think it is anything special but I do think it is useful.

    I do not deny that this individual is a mere aspect of what I or we really are but it is unique and nobody else ever wrote that exact paragraph before.

    My version of the Golden Rule is "Have fun, don't hurt anyone but let nobody hurt you".

    BunksCinorjerVastmind
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @genkaku said:...Threading the needle in this world makes me feel like the impatient kid fidgeting on a cross-country road trip: "Are we there yet?!"

    Whenever my kids came up with that question, our answer, regardless, would be "Yep, just another 10 minutes!"

    At some point, it would be right.....

    CinorjerlobsterVastmind
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Bunks said:
    I'll steal a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
    Love is knowing I am everything,
    and between the two my life moves.”

    Aren't we all just hallucinations i.e. an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present?

    Still seems to me, might be coming down slightly on the impersonal side of the question. If someone walks up and says, "Hi, who are you?" would you say "Just a hallucination."?

    No - I'd say Luke (which is a shortened version of the label my parents gave the five aggregates that arose 44 years ago).

    These kind of questions just confuse me.....I guess that's the whole point!

    Marvelous! That's the Zen spirit. I bow to you. No other answer is as true as the one you just gave.

    Which paragraph? :)

    "I'm Luke."

    Whoever Luke is, whatever Luke is, that's you.

    That doesn't seem to answer the question as far as I'm concerned but if you're happy then I'm happy! :)

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited April 2016

    I would have liked you to have been deep frozen too.
    And waiting still as fresh in your flesh for my return to Earth.
    But your father refused to sign the forms to freeze you.
    Let's see, you be about sixty now,
    And long dead by the time I return to Earth.
    My time held dreams were full of you-as you were when I left-still underage.
    Your android replica is playing up again,
    Oh, its no joke.
    When she comes she moans anothers name.
    But that's the spirit of the age.

    I am a clone, I am not alone.
    Every fiber of my flesh and bone
    Is identical to the others.
    Everything I say is in the same tone
    As my test tube brothers voice.
    There is no choice between us.
    If you had ever seen us
    You'd rejoice in your uniqueness
    And consider every weakness
    Something special of your own.
    Being a clone, I have no flaws to identify.
    Even this doggerel that flows from my pen
    Has just been written by
    Twenty other telepathic men.
    Oh, word for word it says;
    "Oh, for the wings of any bird
    Other than a battery hen"
    But that's the spirit of the age.

    Spirit of the Age
    Hawkwind

    Cinorjer
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 2016

    What you are not would be a more useful inquiry.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.059.nymo.html

    Why so?

    "This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

    "As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.002.than.html

    On that note, ""What is my life's purpose?" is also not a question that leads to freedom.

    lobsterCinorjer
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Who am "I" ?

    The focus of attention.....(at any given time)

    Who am "I" not?

    The awareness that's aware of the focus of attention ...( at any given time)

    pegembaraCinorjer
  • @Cinorjer said:
    You're selfish and vain and timid and afraid and angry and miserable because you don't like being that. You're frustrated because of your job, or your income, or your relationships, or lack of all three. You're not as smart, or pretty, or talented as those people you see out there. That is who you are: one big mess.

    It is all true ... and that is on a good day! [lobster wipes away salty tears]

    Tee Hee. I iz mess? Tsk, tsk. :o

    In the Buddhist exoteric tradition that I was thrown out of for having the temerity to start, we consider the selves or multiple aspects of being to be our Inner Sangha.

    Fortunately they have as much real being as thinking one is Tara the Boddhissatva, Crusty the Simpson Clown or the presence of Buddha Nature.

    Just as the external resonates and reflects back to express our understanding, so too is our present self an expression of some inner being.

    @pegembara said:
    What you are not would be a more useful inquiry.

    Exactly.
    I am not this petty form, nor am I empty of form.

    Please fill out the form

    Are you a Buddha? [ x ]
    Are you human? [ x ]
    Are you awake? [ ]

    Cinorjer
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    Good thread. :smiley:

    Gratitude for the teaching(s) I received.

    Cinorjerkarasti
  • cazcaz Veteran

    @Cinorjer

    Who am I ?

    When we search with wisdom we find the self we normally see does not exist and we meditate on its lack of inherent existence to eliminate the delusion of self grasping ignorance which binds us in Samsara. This is our object of focus that eradicates delusion and leads us to Nirvana.

    Zen is an excellent method, but it can be a little foggy without continuous guidance of a master, I much prefer sources closer to India and Tibet for this reason particularly the sutra approach from the old Kadam Masters such as Atisha because it is very very clear on what meditations we need to do and what we need to abandon.

    KeromeCinorjerBunks
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran
    edited April 2016

    @Cinorjer said:

    @Will_Baker said:
    You are me and I am you...

    That's true. It's also true to say, you are you, and I am me.

    I know what I am, but what are you?

    -I am most probably an ethereal, math-derived technical artifact...

    The prophet smiles and his eyes glint as he turns his care-worn face to the stars.
    Have a little faith he says, then leaves.

    Then you're driving down the highway, past houses filled with families.
    Each unit is a living thing.

    You fly by these hopes and dreams, and crack-houses, and they are all burning,
    taking you deep into the night.

    Rescue me from this wasteland, and I'll drag you to the shore
    we will swim in the warmth of sunshine, where we might be reborn

    we'll peel the skin from our humanity, so that we might be immaculate...

    Cinorjerlobster
  • GuiGui Veteran
    edited April 2016

    "Who am I?", the question of the ages.
    The answer?
    - "I don't know."

    Cinorjer
  • yagryagr Veteran

    Who am I?

    Who'd have thunk that such a simple question could be so fundamentally flawed? How could anyone begin any discussion on the question without having a common definition for the word, 'I'. But okay, let's give it a whirl...I am a collection of programmed beliefs and behaviors. I am both the programmed and, if I so choose, the programmer.

    A bit of an embarrassing case in point: Two days ago I realized that for the last three weeks or so, I've been secretly wishing for another heart attack. Ridiculous wish you say? For the Buddha, sure, it's ridiculous. For 'I' though, not so much. Here's why:

    My wife and I live and work on a horse ranch. There's no end to the work around here. I am pushing myself waaaay too hard and need to slow down. In fact, I need to stop completely. If you ask me though, I'll be quick to tell you that I cannot simply go rest in the house knowing that my wife is out there doing the often back-breaking work and not help her. I can't do it. It's not who “I” am. A heart attack allows me to stop and rest without doing damage to my sense of self or “I”.

    And yet, there is nothing stopping me from doing exactly that (stopping), except this attachment to this idea of who “I” am. Drop the attachment to this idea of who “I” am and “I” suddenly die. What's left? A new “I” or a lack of “I” altogether? Humorous in a fatalistic kind of way that I would rather crash this vehicle into the wall resulting in a fireball and complete destruction than abandon the vehicle and reach safety.

    Cinorjer
  • @Gui said:
    "Who am I?", the question of the ages.
    The answer?
    - "I don't know".

    I wish there was a double awesome button.

    lobster
  • @yagr said:
    Who am I?

    Who'd have thunk that such a simple question could be so fundamentally flawed? How could anyone begin any discussion on the question without having a common definition for the word, 'I'. But okay, let's give it a whirl...I am a collection of programmed beliefs and behaviors. I am both the programmed and, if I so choose, the programmer.

    A bit of an embarrassing case in point: Two days ago I realized that for the last three weeks or so, I've been secretly wishing for another heart attack. Ridiculous wish you say? For the Buddha, sure, it's ridiculous. For 'I' though, not so much. Here's why:

    My wife and I live and work on a horse ranch. There's no end to the work around here. I am pushing myself waaaay too hard and need to slow down. In fact, I need to stop completely. If you ask me though, I'll be quick to tell you that I cannot simply go rest in the house knowing that my wife is out there doing the often back-breaking work and not help her. I can't do it. It's not who “I” am. A heart attack allows me to stop and rest without doing damage to my sense of self or “I”.

    And yet, there is nothing stopping me from doing exactly that (stopping), except this attachment to this idea of who “I” am. Drop the attachment to this idea of who “I” am and “I” suddenly die. What's left? A new “I” or a lack of “I” altogether? Humorous in a fatalistic kind of way that I would rather crash this vehicle into the wall resulting in a fireball and complete destruction than abandon the vehicle and reach safety.

    You are someone driven by responsibility and duty. That is part of who you are. You can wish it was otherwise when you look out at the never-ending work you call life, but acting in any other way would make you even more miserable as it really wouldn't be you. Am I close?

    yagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:

    @yagr said:

    You are someone driven by responsibility and duty. That is part of who you are. You can wish it was otherwise when you look out at the never-ending work you call life, but acting in any other way would make you even more miserable as it really wouldn't be you. Am I close?

    Yes, nailed it. But I also know that I am capable of letting go of both the 'way of acting' and the 'misery'. I am capable but "I" don't want to. And yet, if I did...I wouldn't be "I" - so who would be left to regret my decision?

    Cinorjer
  • @yagr said:

    @Cinorjer said:

    @yagr said:

    You are someone driven by responsibility and duty. That is part of who you are. You can wish it was otherwise when you look out at the never-ending work you call life, but acting in any other way would make you even more miserable as it really wouldn't be you. Am I close?

    Yes, nailed it. But I also know that I am capable of letting go of both the 'way of acting' and the 'misery'. I am capable but "I" don't want to. And yet, if I did...I wouldn't be "I" - so who would be left to regret my decision?

    Letting go is the perfect phrase. Do what you can, when you can, but understand you're mortal and the work is endless and life does not begin and end with the responsibilities you have now. Letting go.

    yagr
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @yagr said:
    Who am I?

    I am a collection of programmed beliefs and behaviors. I am both the programmed and, if I so choose, the programmer.

    But are you the programmer? Who is this you who does the programming?

    A first perspective, from the questions of King Milinda to Nagarjuna. King Milinda asks about the existence of the self. When looking at a chariot, does the chariot exist? The wheel exists. The axle exists. But does the chariot? It is the same with the self, replied Nagarjuna.

    A second perspective, from Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings on emptiness. Does this body exist? It is not a body, it is a lineage. You carry with you your father, your mother, everything that went into making you who you are. You are a small fragment of an interdependent whole.

    But what about consciousness? In a way, consciousness is only the ability to witness, and make choices. The same as with the body, the factors that go into making those choices are all the things you know, everything that you have learnt or know instinctively. Does that make you deterministic? No, it seems as you become more aware the field of data from which you make your choices expands, you become more sensitive and different factors become more important.

    So perhaps we do not have the ability to program ourselves - it only appears that we do, but in fact that behaviour is a natural result of previous steps of the process of our minds that plays out across our consciousness.

    personCinorjer
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    @Cinorjer said

    "Who am I?"

    For me, a more useful question has been "Who am I not ? ". I am not this, I am not that, I am not who I was 30 years ago, I am not who I will be tomorrow. At the end of this process, what is left? One's own unique and present state of conditioned existence is left. Pare that away and what remains? Who am I? Who am I not? No answer, only silence.

    That's where I always end up, at any rate.

    This speaks to the choice between eti, eti and neti, neti - one can choose to think either inclusively or exclusively.

    But I do not agree that we are not who we were 30 years ago. I think we still carry within us that person who we were. A human being is like a pearl, layer accreted over layer, but in essence we still contain the child we were. You can travel back through your memories day by day and year by year, or so some meditators maintain.

    Cinorjer
  • @Vastmind said:
    Good thread. :smiley:

    Gratitude for the teaching(s) I received.

    Indeed.
    We have answers illustrating dependent origination, koans and the differences between conventional self and the Buddhist not-self.
    At this rate we might end up enlightened with Nothing to do so B)

    CinorjerVastmind
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    Another way to look at it is that we are never the same person even from one moment to the next. Things have been added (knowledge, ice cream) and things have been removed (a memory, your gall bladder), it is only a mental construct that arises based on this accumulation of usness that remains the same.

    In that model the goal isn't to understand who you are, it is to see through the illusion of that construct.

    CinorjerlobsterVastmind
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    in essence we still contain the child we were.

    Yes, and some of us still thirst to be reborn as that child - but that's another topic.

    Cinorjer
  • @person said:
    Another way to look at it is that we are never the same person even from one moment to the next. Things have been added (knowledge, ice cream) and things have been removed (a memory, your gall bladder), it is only a mental construct that arises based on this accumulation of usness that remains the same.

    In that model the goal isn't to understand who you are, it is to see through the illusion of that construct.

    Okay. At this very moment who can you be? Emphasis on that moment of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, thinking etc. "We" cannot be the seer, hearer, thinker or whatever else at the same moment. Seeing impermanence is the key and hence the importance of truly recognising its implication.

    lobsterCinorjer
  • What holds the illusion of continuity? Craving is the answer.

    "Contact friends is the first end
    the arising of contact is the second end
    the ending of contact is the middle
    hunger and thirst the seamstress.
    For hunger and thirst it is
    that ever stitches living
    to being reborn again.
    With just this much, friends
    a bhikkhu has understanding of the understandable
    thorough understanding of the thoroughly understandable.
    Understanding the understandable
    thoroughly understanding the thoroughly understandable
    he has got the end of pain
    here among visible things,
    Say I."

    http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/bd/an/06_sixes/an06.061.olds.bd.htm

  • howhow Veteran

    @Cinorjer

    Who Am I ?... is really an important teaching to show us what we are not.

    Such questioning has the potential to illuminate the delusional nature of identity, ego or the selfish self.

    Here, the very "who" of the "Who am I ?" question can eventually reveal itself to be as ethereal as the boundaries that formally defined it.

    ShoshinVastmindCinorjer
  • "Who am I?"

    Is an important question that we should ask ourselves first before creating karma. To avoid creating sufferring for oneself I believe starts with this question.

    ShoshinCinorjer
  • @namarupa said:
    "Who am I?"

    Is an important question that we should ask ourselves first before creating karma. To avoid creating sufferring for oneself I believe starts with this question.

    I'd say understanding who we are means knowing we're not streams of consciousness infected with good or bad karma. We are the karma playing itself out, nothing more or less.

    Shoshin
  • @Cinoger. I would think that searching for what is more arduous than searching for who. At least that has been my experience.

    Cinorjer
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.