Thanks for some really helpful guidance.
It's taking me a while to get used to not intellectualising this stuff. I have a tendency to try to explain things logically, and to look for models / analogies. I am beginning to see that that approach is not helpful here.
Yes, okay; I will keep looking out for this and hopefull will get better at looking / inquiring.And you might THINK that you are investigating experience, but you aren’t. You have an idea what you’ve learned from others, and now you are trying to justify this idea. This justification happens in thinking. The circle is closed.
So, yes I would say that I believe in mind. However, I accept that is because of education and conditioning. But if I look closely and try to see mind for what it is, there is nothing there. Just thoughts. And I can see that thoughts are appearing. The word "appearing" is not helping, because it implies that there is something in which to appear. The thoughts are just "present".So, do you believe that there is such thing as a mind?
Is mind something that is experienced, or something that is learned?
Is mind experienced or learned? Well, it appears that mind is learned. There is no experience to mind other than thoughts, so it's existence is itself a thought - which is learned from something I have been told, or assumed.
I can't find it. I don't have direct evidence or proof that mind is there; there is only thought. Thought is what I have been calling "mind". So thought doesn't arise in mind; it IS mind. So thought and mind are the same thing...So, if you put aside all learned knowledge, HOW do you know that there is a mind inside your head?
Can you find a mind?
Please excuse the intellectualisation, but thought is to mind like clouds / sunshine / rain are to weather. They are inseparable.
I can find my head, by touching it. But in raw sensation, that is just a sensation of touch. And then it is labelled as "head". I can see my head in the mirror, but in raw sensation, that is an image of a "head" which is then labelled as "head". I can see this now. Everything I sense is labelled - it is very rare indeed to experience a sensation or a thought which is not automatically labelled.You can easily find your head, right?
Now, focus on experiencing your head.
How is you head experienced?
As a color? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation?
Today as I sat with this exercise, I realised that I could "see" my hand. I could also "see" a tree in the garden. I was then aware that there is no real difference between these objects - they are both "seen" objects, and neither of them is "me".
No, I never see the thoughts appear in anything. They are simply present, and in fact, I never see the beginning or the end of a thought (in time or space). I am simply aware one moment that a thought is there, and another moment, there is another thought. When I look in this way, I can see that there is no mind for thoughts to appear in - there are just thoughts. As above, my current inquiry is concluding that thought=mind.Have you ever seen a thought appearing IN a mind?
Or you can just imagine a thought appearing in a mind?
This has been very helpful.