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This is a discussion on Ourselves within the Alternative Treatment forums, part of the Treatment category; Generally people believe that who or what they are is an entity or a consciousness that exists inside their body ...

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Old 01-27-13, 01:51 PM   #1
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Generally people believe that who or what they are is an entity or a consciousness that exists inside their body - somewhere inside the head is the general belief. We feel that as we are born (or while we are in the womb) we suddenly come into existence. Then as our heart ceases to beat, we too cease to exist. People have many different ideas on what happens after this.
We consider ourselves to be the thinker, a 'something' that is in control of some aspects of the body we are in. Like the movements of the limbs, but not the beating of the heart. That beats by itself.
But here's a question: The eye cannot see itself, the hand cannot hold itself and the knife cannot cut itself. Can the thinker think about itself? Can we (if we are indeed the thinker) think a thought about ourselves? Are all these thoughts such as "I'm worthless. I'm pathetic. Or even I'm great. I'm wonderful" actually thought by ourselves. And are they even about ourselves? Whatever 'ourself' actually is....

I'd be interested to hear peoples views on this question, and although it doesn't seem much like an alternative method for coping with depression. I can explain exactly how this question can lead to a much happier life :)
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"Sitting quietly, doing nothing. Spring comes and grass grows by itself"
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Old 01-28-13, 05:13 AM   #2
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Mindful meditation teaches that we are not our thoughts. As strange as this sounds, it's true.
Our minds never stop working, even during sleep. We're always ruminating and a lot of that rumination is negative for many of us.
Meditation has taught me that the thinker can think about himself/herself. I've been practicing Mindfulness meditation for ten weeks and my thoughts, which used to be agony for me a lot of the time, I can now cope with them. They arise, I recognise that they arise, and I watch them evaporate. I do this while I'm actively meditating as a matter of course. Now it's natural for me to watch those thoughts arise and evaporate during the day when I'm working, walking the dog, eating etc.
For me, Mindfulness is the only thing that has ever helped me with depression. Medication and counselling only made me feel worse.
Basically, Mindfulness involves retraining your mind to live more in the moment, so that you're not besieged by unmanageable thoughts about the past and the future. You don't need to attend any groups. You don't need to join anything. The simple meditation exercises can be done in your own front room.

Mindfulness has made an enormous difference to my life. I still have dark moments but they are now manageable. I can cope. I can't begin to tell you how relieved that makes me feel - not feeling at the mercy of my own thoughts and feelings.
I wish you well, Jon WW

Last edited by Sitrus; 01-28-13 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 01-28-13, 02:25 PM   #3
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That's right. Mindfulness is a truly amazing thing. I have been practising it as well for over 1 year now and i have also noticed a huge difference to my feelings. I am at lot more at peace with myself and just happier in general.
What i was trying to say in this post is a little different though. I'm trying to get people to really question what it is that they really are. That what or who they believe they are is actually just an image. And it's the image which is suffering, not really them. For me, "i think" thoughts are simply produced by the brain, in the same way the heart pumps blood. We simply observe the thoughts as they are produced, then we give certain thoughts more importance than others. But we don't actually do the thinking. The thoughts which arise are simply a reaction to the environment. The eyes see a tree,the brain produces thoughts about the tree. We observe the thoughts about the tree. The brain recognizes a memory about what was on tv last night. It produces thoughts related to the tv show from last night. We observe the thoughts.

Have you noticed, from practising mindfulness, that there really is only this moment? That the past and future are really nothing more than images inside our heads. They really don't matter all that much. And also that you cannot separate yourself from the present moment, you are actually part of that moment. Say you are looking at a flower. The flowers existence depends on you, and your existence depends on the flower. So actually you are not seperate from the flower, in a sense. Do you see what i mean?
For me, most of the time i feel that i am an isolated individual which exists inside my body, and that everything outside of my body has nothing much to do with me, with who i am. But occasionally, while practising mindfulness, or sometimes while in meditation i feel a connection to everything which is existing at that moment. I feel as if i am not different from anything, that i am in fact everything and that everything is me. I know this sounds very strange. But this sort of thing has been taught for thousands of years. I think mostly people reject this teaching as they are quite happy believing that what they are is really who they are, so they don't want to question, as they don't want their beliefs to be wrong. Do you know what i mean?

I am really happy for you that you have discovered mindfulness, and that your life is so much better now because of it :) There is no need to try to understand what i am saying. Ultimately it is how happy you feel in your life that matters more than anything else.

Take care,
ChasingShadows

Ps: Where did you learn about mindfulness?
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"You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm"

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so"

"Sitting quietly, doing nothing. Spring comes and grass grows by itself"
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