Good to hear from you.
So next time you’re visiting a heritage park, a museum, a zoo, or any other place where you see or hear something that you don’t know the context/label for, pay close attention to whether it is being experienced at all.I don't see how I can experience without a context.
Is the sight or sound or smell etc. not being experienced just because Jeanette doesn’t know the context/label for the experience? Or before Jeanette finds out what the context/label is?
Hahaha, nobody’s suggesting anything like this – relax!aside from a sharp blow to the head or electroshock, I don't know how to erase the slate. Not willing to go with the violent remedies.
You sure recognise concepts with memory - i.e. by paying attention to a thought that comes and says you’ve heard or read it before, and so it can’t be something that’s coming from your actual experience (i.e. five senses). Make sense?How would I recognize it if I don't use my memory to see what is going on?
Concepts are mental constructs – how would they ever be recognised if not with other thoughts?
Good point.the only part I really do is be here while I'm awake and not here while I'm asleep. I don't know how to practice that either.
So tell me what exactly YOU do to be here when you’re awake and not here when you’re asleep?
Can you not be here when you’re awake? Can you not be not here when you’re asleep?
Do these two have to be practised or do they simply happen on their own – kind of like thoughts?
Are YOU in control of (not) being (not) here when you’re (not) (un)awake? (OMG, this sentence gives me a headache just looking at it – sure you can relate? ;-) )
Good. I was merely quoting from a wide repertoire of concepts that people learn from various “teachings” and parrot without bothering to really look into things.No, I haven't blissed out or had any supernatural experiences either. No delusions of grandeur or communion with the universe or popular things.
Well, this kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? When the body is not sleeping, there is a sense of being alive and aware of what’s going on. We have no way of knowing what it’s like when the body dies, so we can leave this part aside.Maybe all I got is conflating being not asleep with being alive. I mean just believing I'm not dead.
Is the body YOU?
Yes. Isn’t this interesting?There seemed to be a continuity between I from the past and I now, but when I look at an old picture of myself at 5 or so I don't think so.
I’m not asking you to not think. Can it be done at all? Remember the thought exercise? ;-)How do I not think?
What is helpful is to learn to recognise what is actual experience (five senses) and what is thought content/thought labels/concepts.
And this is learnt by simply paying attention in daily life.
No need to complicate it.
No need to sit down and think about how to do it, if it is being done correctly, what will happen when you do it, and how you have not been doing it for whatever reason, etc. etc. etc. ;-)
Just pay attention to thinking. No excuse. Simple.
It’s good you’re feeling this (whether you believe me or not).It feels pretty hopeless, really.
This is a very good observation.I don't get how to separate from thinking.
WHAT exactly cannot be separated from thinking?
Yes.mind seems to be just a process, even though I give it a name 'mind' like it is a thing.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE JEANETTE?
Isn’t “sad” the thought label that you’ve learnt to attach to those particular bodily sensations?It feels sad. Like the empty feeling, but somebody feels it. Like an empty building.
Choking feeling and tension of face, shoulders and chest, but maybe these are about the idea of the thought label, not the label?
Without thought, would it be known that this “Choking feeling and tension of face, shoulders and chest” has any connection to Jeanette at all?
What are some thought stories that scream "I'm Jeanette!" ?
Spot on.Thought stories are more insidious.
Yes, this is so very common. I sometimes wonder if there’s anyone alive who hasn’t experienced this sort of self-sabotage. Maybe there is, who knows.Thought stories are about failure and destruction.
But how does Jeanette respond when this type of thought content arrives?
Ha ha ha – just love this."You're going to drive yourself crazy trying to stop thinking, why are you bothering with this stuff, you should be doing something more important. Now look what you've done, you're just stressing yourself out. You're wasting your time working at this for nothing. This is hopeless. It is just giving you wrinkles. You can't learn this. You can't stop thinking for fifteen seconds. Nobody does this unless they know how to meditate and you suck."
Remember your “Hamlet”? “Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.”
And then: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
One thing that’s true in this crazy thought narrative you’ve quoted is that you cannot learn this. Or, more accurately, that this cannot be learnt. It is in that sense that trying to do this is hopeless. Making effort is hopeless. Stopping the thinking is not possible. Meditation is not necessary.
Paying attention does it.
You’re most welcome. And thank YOU for looking into this. You’re doing well.Thanks again for the questions.