I said that because you said :”I think I am walking”, “when I say walking is happening”, “when I say I hear” . You know that the verbs “think” and “say” relate to thinking not to direct experience. It is better to say When I was walking, when I was hearing, … Forget about it.No, I wasn't sitting. You assumed that. I was walking-- half the day, just for this exercise. Even though you suggested 10 minutes, I didn't feel complete with my answer after 10 minutes-- and after an hour--- and after 2 hours-- so I just kept walking until 5:45 pm. I actually canceled an appointment to keep walking.
I have a tough time with this one. You say the 'I' is a belief. It feels as real as anything to me. I look- and look, and look, and it is still there.
You said “it feels real as anything to me”. You used the verb “feel” then it is a thought. LOOKING does not mean look at your thoughts but it means looking with eyes open, ears open and all other senses open (smell, taste, touch). When you look at something, you can describe it (shape, color, size, …). Let’s be definitely clear about LOOKING. When something can be known through the five senses, it is direct experience (that’s what we are about here). When something is not known through the five senses, it is a thought, a belief, imagination, …
Right now, take a look to this “me” through direct experience, through the five senses without leaning on thoughts, beliefs, memories. LOOK and write back what you see.
I don't know why you say only sensations are behind the eyes. How do you know? If it is true, then yes, the I is a sensation. Just like love, or anger. They are only sensations. Maybe we have inadequate language to express them. But they are real, just as 'I' is real.
Love, anger are not sensations, these are feelings. A sensation is something perceived through the sense organs (the 5 senses). The sensation behind the eyes is a tingling. It is like the sensation you see right now in your toes, in your legs, in your eyelids or in your chest.
Yes sensations are real but “I” is not real, it does not exist outside of thought. There is this aliveness but it is not you.
Look at this “I” which seems to do a lot of things (think, decide, give orders, move fingers, …). Look with your 5 senses open and write back what you SEE not what you feel nor what you think.I sat for a few minutes to watch this. I noticed that there was an itch in my eye and a finger moved up to scratch it. There was no planning, or a thought "well, it looks like the eye is itching so I'd better send a finger up there to scratch it." So in that act there was no I.
Is there an “I” sending a finger to scratch the eye ?
But then I thought “ I wonder if I can willfully move my finger.” So So I did. And THAT act was directed by an I.
Did you think or the thought “ I wonder if I can willfully move my finger.” arises from nowhere ?
Can you know a thought before it arises? LOOK at how thoughts are arising and tell me if you can choose what the next thought will be ?
Once again, I devoted quite a while to this. I was not happy with my answers after 10, or 30 minutes. Is there 'I' walking? For the first few minutes, yes. And the I was constantly complaining "Why do I have to do this? I don't want to do this. There are better things I could be doing." I was noticing birds chirping in the background, and insects moving, but there was still an I in the foreground. Then at one point there was some pretty music coming out of a house. I went into a pleasant daydream, and forgot where I was. A few minutes later the sense of I returned, and with it its burden of complaining and problems. I asked of each sense: is it going on without me? During the daydreaming time the sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell were going on without what I call me. After that it was the 'me' that was noticing them.
A few times during my walk I stopped and talked with neighbors and friends. In conversation I was watching the I. It was active during each encounter.
You have written a lot of things here : do this exercise. There is a list of what you said : make a choice and mark them like this : direct experience (DE) or thought (T).
Is there I walking? yes T
I was complaining
Insects moving DE
Still an I in the foreground
Sense of I returned
Me noticing them
Talked with neighbors
Watching the I, it was active
I give you an example : I am walking is a thought (T). The “I” cannot walk. You can see that all animals are walking without an “I” doing it. It is the same for the humans. Insects moving : it is direct experience (DE) because insects are seen through through your eyes and heard through your hears. Can you see definitively the difference between direct experience and thought?
Great, that the first time you come up with direct experience, you gave a picture of what is going on, very nice observations. Now can you write the same text without using “I” and write back with what comes upI am seated on a wooden chair. I feel the hard wood under my body. I have a slightly sweet taste in my mouth from the tea I drank a few minutes ago. I notice that the temperature is rather pleasant. I feel these fingers lightly touching the keyboard. I can hear cars outside. Very far away someone is playing the piano, it sounds beautiful. I notice a smudge of dust or something in the lens of my glasses. I feel my back itching; then I feel it being relieved as my hand goes back to scratch it. I feel the hard floor underneath my feet. A very heavy truck just went by, making a lot of noise. I can smell the faint scent of jasmine blossoms outside. Now a gardener somewhere is using a leaf blower, quite loudly. I feel my right foot move up to caress a cold spot on my left thigh. The left thigh feels good from the touch, and the right foot also feels good from the coldness of the skin of the thigh. I notice the hum of the electric wires outside. Hmmm... someone in the neighborhood is making fresh coffee; I can smell it. My nose has a slight itch and I scratch it.
Give an answer to each question written in blue and do the exercise.
You are not too far, best wishes