I'm glad I had an extra day for these questions. And that it was a weekend so I had lots of time. It was challenging and intense.
T: I can also add that examining thoughts is the trickiest for me to examine.
V: Then this is where you have to focus.
I realised today (and throughout this process), that when I look in experience I prefer to focus my attention on sensations, mainly in my body (and also often on sight and a bit of hearing). And I prefer not to focus my attention on thoughts. Looking in my body feels easier & more stable, and also gives me a feeling of control as if I am directing my attention. Whereas my thoughts feel slippery and elusive, as if they control me.
Are you generating thoughts of doubt? How do you do that?
Here and in all the other questions too I tried as much as possible to focus my attention on thoughts. I wish I could say that this question felt clearer after so much looking with it. But right now after a day of looking it still feels almost as elusive as it did at the beginning of the day. The same goes for the other questions about "generating thoughts".
How do you generate a thought? What do you do exactly?
I could not find anything that generated a thought, nor any mechanism for how that happened.
And what is this I which supposedly has a power to generate thoughts?
This question felt easier than the previous two. I noticed myself focusing the search on the "I" in the question, something I am already more used to from previous questions.
The only thing I found is sensations and thoughts.
There is a misunderstanding here. Seeing that everything is happening automatically, don’t depend on the presence or absence of commentary. Thought commentary has nothing to do with seeing that there is no doer.
I'm glad you clarified this. When asking with questions with terms like "automatic" and "effortless" I think I was mostly noticing lack of commentary. Without that, it's harder for me to pin down the actual quality of automatic. And I don't know how to describe it.
Is there a thinker of thoughts, and this thinker is a self-directed autonomous entity which its own will to do things, like generation thoughts?
I spent a long time on this, and eventually had to break it into small chunks of questions, before attempting to string it together again into a full question.
By the end of the day it was still difficult, but it felt clearer than it did in the morning.
Many of your comments starts with “I cannot find…” – so WHAT is this I that cannot find this or that?
I do not find anything in particular with this except sensations or thoughts, but I do notice a feeling of relief when I ask this question.
What or who is it that is searching, but not finding?
This question also gives me a feeling of relief, of being understood (the occasional frustration of looking and not finding).