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Self examination tricks

JeroenJeroen Do it with a smileNetherlands Veteran

I was wondering what tricks of self-examination people here use.

One thing I often do is reviewing my day and what I have actually done compared to what I have thought about. It reveals to me quite a lot about who I am, what kind of a person and what kind of habits I really have, compared to what I think I have.

Another thing I heard about recently is stream-of-consciousness writing, which I was told Da Free John did for several weeks as a way to get insight into the workings of the mind. Afterwards he said that that was the real start of his insight into his own mind.

Have people tried or heard of other good ways to examine the workings of mind?

Ren_in_black

Comments

  • @Kerome said:

    Have people tried or heard of other good ways to examine the workings of mind?

    This

    I find is the best method I've come across...

    howBunks
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited August 29

    @Shoshin1 said:
    I find is the best method I've come across...

    Unfortunately my mind seems to be telling me not to meditate at the moment, and I mean that literally.

  • @Kerome said:

    @Shoshin1 said:
    I find is the best method I've come across...

    Unfortunately my mind seems to be telling me not to meditate at the moment.

    We are a bundle of selves, each self jocking for the driver's seat position....

    This too shall pass @Kerome ...the 'meditation' self is just bidding its time waiting for the 'non meditation' self to release its grip on the steering wheel...then it will take control again.......

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited August 29

    I like David Hume a lot, he seems to draw much from early buddhism, which it has been argued was just making its way to Europe's church-managed bookcases when he was alive.

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    Eckhart Tolle on self observation…

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Another thing I heard about recently is stream-of-consciousness writing, which I was told Da Free John did for several weeks as a way to get insight into the workings of the mind. Afterwards he said that that was the real start of his insight into his own mind.

    I think I may give this a try.

    Bunkslobster
  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer
    edited August 31

    Sounds like you do something similar already, but some advice that helped me was to write down what you actually did for a day/week/whatever, leaving out basic needs met such as eating, sleeping.

    For example:

    Worked 8 hours
    Called a friend
    Watched TV for a hour
    Did some social media while catching up on laundry

    At first you do this without judgment so you can just get the data.

    Then if you are so inclined, see how the list or lists matches with how you perceive yourself. For instance you may see yourself as someone who is invested in local government, or you may see yourself as a visual artist who just works a day job to pay bills, or you may see yourself as an intellectual, etc. Whatever it may be, the idea is to see how the list of the things you actually DO matches up.

    Obviously this involves self-perception, beliefs and some eventual judgment calls, so it is not really a Buddhist practice. But I think it does have a parallel goal of "seeing things as they really are."

    I have found it helpful.

    Jeroen
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @Ren_in_black said:
    Then if you are so inclined, see how the list or lists matches with how you perceive yourself. For instance you may see yourself as someone who is invested in local government, or you may see yourself as a visual artist who just works a day job to pay bills, or you may see yourself as an intellectual, etc. Whatever it may be, the idea is to see how the list of the things you actually DO matches up.

    Yes that's right, that is the process I was referring to when I talked about reviewing my day. Sometimes you find that you have been deceiving yourself by thinking about yourself in a certain way, and then by looking at the list of what you actually do you find out that wasn't you after all.

    Ren_in_black
  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    @Kerome said:
    Sometimes you find that you have been deceiving yourself by thinking about yourself in a certain way, and then by looking at the list of what you actually do you find out that wasn't you after all.

    The writer I read was a bit harsh about it, basically saying "if short-term entertainment after a day of just keeping yourself alive is what you're doing, then that's who you really are, anything else is a fantasy."

    I think his point was to snap his readers out of complacency, but taken too far it can also be detrimental. Self-loathing or a sense of futility could lead to inaction as much as rationalization or self-deception could.

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