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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I just had a little break through and actually deleted a fairly long post to write about what I now think is more accurate and useful information.

I don't know a whole lot about Buddhism-I know there are many sects/schools of Buddhism with some conflicting beliefs, but I'm not sure which one I was reading about when I first came across the words, "false sense of self".

I've interpreted these words for myself, and it may or may not be an accurate interpretation, but what I've come up with is pretty much gold in my opinion.

What is a self? I believe our true selves are just blank slates, but what we think of ourselves as is a creation of our minds. Our selves are just concepts in our heads based on memories of what we've done and what has happened to us in the past.

However, without a past we have no self. Life is a series of moments (infinitely small amounts of time), and if we were to isolate a specific moment, let's say the present, there would be no real self. The self can only exist over a period of time, but in the moment, there is no self.

What I'm saying is, all your opinions and everything you think about yourself is not true. Your self was molded over time in your head, but it's just an idea, nothing more. In this moment, you cannot be defined or judged as anything. Whatever your idea of yourself is, it does not have any bearing over the present. You can do whatever you want, and what happens to you can be totally different than what you'd expect for your self.

The self is really just like a pet we take care of. It's a pain. We protect it, worry about it, think about it's future, for what? In the moment, the self doesn't exist, but in the past we believe it has, and we believe it will have a future.

What are the benefits of KNOWING you have no self? Well, like I was saying, you won't have anything to worry about, you can live in the moment without constantly reviewing the consequences of every little thing that you do or that happens. It would not only cure S.A., but it would help anyone with depression, anyone with any sort of fear, and most of all, it would allow you to live in the moment and stop letting your life pass you by.

So if you can get to the point where you fully understand that you don't have a self, and that all life is is YOU experiencing each moment one by one, you WILL find peace and mental relaxation.

Please come up with any kind of contradicting argument you can think of because I don't think I made this very easy to understand.
 

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Hi, great post, I agree with you 100%. I too have made progress lately in disidentifying with my mind / self. For the first time its really starting to click with me who I really am. I still haven't had any really groundbreaking 'aha' moments but it is all gradually coming to me. I don't yet 'know' that I am awareness in the deepest sense. I believe it and I can feel it but no 'aha' moments yet. I suppose once I truly and completely and deeply understand who I really am I will become enlightened. :b Seems that's what happened with many spiritual teachers. I highly recommend Eckhart Tolle and Adtyashanti. Listen to their retreats and audiobooks and such if you are interested. Especially Adyashanti's 'true meditation' really gets into the 'who am I / what am I / what is the self' type question. Also "Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now" especially the chapter dealing with 'You are not your mind.'

Here's my interpretation:

Our mind / who we identify with as 'me' is just a series of repetitive conditioned thought loops and though patterns. We are not this mind, we are just awareness. Unconditioned nonjudgmental pure awareness. "It is as it is" Not trying to grasp on to anything, not trying to run away from anything, not trying to manipulate or alter anything. Just completely 'ok' and at peace and restful with whatever is. It is always the mind which does these things^

I like to ask all these questions to myself...

What comes before thoughts? What is there after a thought disappears? What is there when we are not thinking? What comes before our beliefs, our self concepts? Our beliefs, our thoughts, self concepts and our mind's have changed since we were kids. Always changing, what has stayed the same throughout this process? Who can be aware of and watch the personality? What is always their lurking in the background, what can watch thought / the mind and hold it in awareness? Just that: awareness. We are in the deepest sense just awareness imho. Our self concept the 'me' has grown around this awareness and limits it when we identify with our mind and our thoughts and beliefs. Negative thoughts can have drastically limiting and destructive effects upon us when we believe them. What happens when we don't believe our thoughts? What happens if we just watch our thoughts and realize that they are not us? Our minds and thoughts are constantly making mistakes and acting crazy, if you really watch your mind 90% of it is just repetitive thought loops, totally conditioned by past experience. One thought triggers another triggers another etc. Who is the one that 'watches' and notices these thoughts / mind anyways? Are there two people in there? Which one is real?

I also like to ask myself 'what am I' periodically throughout the day. When I ask this question the mind stops. Yet 'I' am still here. So I must not be my mind. I can feel who I really am. I can't find the person / entity / concept 'me' and identify it as me, the mind doesn't know who I am, all it can come up with is concepts and beliefs and such. The only thing that remains when I ask that question is awareness. Its the only thing / the only one I can find, the only thing I can feel, it is always there, everything else is just temporary, everything else just arises in awareness and then recedes back into it. That is what I am imho. Also when I'm offended I will ask 'who is it getting offended' then I will become aware and present and 'the watcher' and realize that my awareness is not offended at all. Its just like how it always is. Just the mind / emotions who are offended. Same with 'who is getting angry?' its always the mind, defending its incredibly insecure self. Trying to strengthen its sense of self. If you identify with your mind, identify with your thoughts and your emotions then you become your mind. Your mind takes control of you. Just watching the mind and being aware of the observer of the mind really helps disidentifying with your mind. From there I can remember who I really am and put my attention on this awareness and the mental / emotional thought patterns go away or I can just sort of 'drop' them. (sometimes its pretty difficult especially if a strong negative emotion is triggered, then sometimes the mind takes you over and uses you instead of you using your mind. I've gotten really good at this though of just watching my mind and the emotions and not identifying with them as being 'me') The mind is incredibly limiting especially the beliefs you make about 'yourself.' (Really just the mind making judgments on itself imho) The mind is constantly dividing, separating, creating conflict, creating problems. Its just what it was meant to do from an evolutionary standpoint. Very nice survival tool. That's why it is so dangerous to identify with the mind, its the minds nature to cause conflict :-D. Its a very useful tool for solving problems but if you believe that it is you then it will create loads of drama. Mind isn't a bad thing, it just 'is as it is.'

I try to dwell in awareness as much as possible. Lately I've been meditating for about 3 -4 hours a day. Yesterday I was 'present' pretty much the whole day. Most of my spiritual progress has come from a mental / physical transformation I did last year where I was meditating for like 5 hours a day and really had some great meditation progress. I was present for the majority of the days. Lately I haven't been nearly as hard core though I seem to be naturally drifting that way. Also I really really recommend the above two spiritual teachers. Good luck! Also I have had some truly awesome transformative experiences while meditating that have really helped me deal with all my problems thanks to the above two spiritual teachers. I completely believe in this stuff 100% Anyway great post. I really really believe this stuff is the key to getting rid of social anxiety and fear and ego created problems. This is why I really believe this stuff if you are interested =P.

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com...acks-interesting-meditation-experience-67959/
 

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I agree with both of you. I used to meditate. I could never do it for more than like maybe 10 minutes. However, the peace I felt when my mind was truly clear was indescribable. There are times when I felt as though the entire universe, me and God were all one. This feeling is incredible.

For some reason I can't discipline my mind to meditate lately. Any advice?
 

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I agree with both of you. I used to meditate. I could never do it for more than like maybe 10 minutes. However, the peace I felt when my mind was truly clear was indescribable. There are times when I felt as though the entire universe, me and God were all one. This feeling is incredible.

For some reason I can't discipline my mind to meditate lately. Any advice?
I like Eckhart Tolle's 'watch your mind' meditation when mine is really active. Instead of putting your attention on your breath or whatever gently turn your attention to the mind itself. When you watch your mind you are not your mind. Just be aware of your thoughts and let them come as they come, don't try and manipulate them or interfere with them. Don't let the mind come in through the backdoor and start mental commentary / judgement about your thoughts or mind. Just watch. Just be there as the silent watcher / witness. Try to become aware of not only your thoughts but the awareness that is watching. This is a handy way to disidentify with the mind as well. When you become the watcher your thoughts have significantly less power over you (since your thoughts are no longer you, you are your awareness) also they rarely trigger emotional reactions. Beware of judging. Especially certain thoughts as 'bad' or 'good' etc. This is just more mind activity. Thoughts 'are as they are' ...just thoughts ;-) Conditioned thought patterns and thought reflexes. This one is also cool because you will see how crazy and nutty your thoughts are. Always making mistakes or huge generalizations and erroneous judgments. This definitely helps break you free from them.

Also Adyashanti has a really good meditation technique which works really well if your mind is very active.

Adyashanti's "Allow everything to be as it is meditation"
Found in "Spontaneous Awakening audiobook" for me its chapter 5 but chapter 4 is also needed imho. Also "True Meditation" audiobook. Can be found on the internet if you know where to look ;-) Just please buy them if they work for you. Guided meditation. Listen to it with an mp3 player. (Also this might be a better meditation to try when you have some experience with eckhart tolle's meditations.)

Instead of giving your mind the task to 'watch your breath' instead give it the task of 'not manipulating your experience in any way' Do not try to get anywhere, do not try and reach a nice mental state etc. Don't resist anything mentally. Allow everything to be as it is. Accept each mental state as if you had chosen it. Surrender to the now. Completely surrender to whatever you are feeling, feeling anxious? Allow yourself to feel anxious. Don't resist it, don't try to think your way out of it. Allow awareness to flow wherever it will. Don't try to change it or put your attention on anything in particular. Allow it move about freely. Very relaxing meditation. Eventually your mind starts to settle. Sort of like defragmenting. Great for when you are in an unpleasant mental state. Just be the watcher (if 'watching' doesn't happen naturally and your experience is more dreamy and very seldomly returning to awareness as 'the watcher' then conjure up just enough presence and awareness to be the observer, he describes it as an 'effortless effort'), think of it as like being a passenger in the car of awareness. You are just gently watching and letting whatever is going to happen happen.

When you are in a bad mental state the last thing you want to do is 'think your way our of it' or do a manipulative meditation to try and get out of it. This can cause serious conflict if you fail (and mind activity: aversion, grasping, negativity etc). Best to allow it to be and totally surrender to it, then see what happens :)

Adyashanti describes this meditation very well in the audiobooks 'True Meditation' and 'Spontaneous Awakening' both can be found online. ;)

Here's my writeup on various meditation techniques:
http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f43/anyone-try-meditation-66291/#post980461
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really want to think of an affirmation that totally sums this up in a sentence.

The goal is to believe I have no self, but you can't just say, "I have no self," because that's not convincing enough.

My original post was going to be more about living in the moment and appreciating every moment, but then I thought, if you have no sense of self, then you will do that automatically. But it works the other way as well, if you live in the moment you won't have a sense of self either.

One thing I've said to myself, and I may be on the right track with this one, I'm not sure, but I've said, "I want to feel alive." Then anything bad that I was feeling, or anything I was anticipating to feel I would associate with feeling alive, and that would make me feel much better about it. That would strongly encourage me to live in the moment, but the only thing is that it's not clear enough.

When "feeling alive" we don't have emotions, the aliveness is the stillness that Tolle talks about. So saying, "I want to feel alive," is deceiving. It works sometimes and doesn't work other times because my brain doesn't interpret it the same every time, because it's not 100% accurate.

We don't want to "feel" certain things. We don't want to feel anxiety, fear, anger, depression. It's actually not about feelings at all, but about experience. We want to experience situations that we wouldn't if we weren't alive. That's the interpretation that works.

For example, if you had to go up and make a speech in front of 100 people without any notes, well the feeling associated with that would probably be terrible. But if you think about just the experience and not the feeling, well, there is certainly something "alive" about being in the situation of 100 people listening to you.

Aliveness is really about bringing that stillness/awareness into as intense a situation as possible.

So what I'm looking for is an affirmation that does one of these two things:
Convinces me quickly that I have no self.
OR
Convinces me quickly to live in the moment, and to appreciate the moment.

They are equal, I think.
 

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You won't be able to convince yourself that you dont have a self because you do have a self. It's understanding the true nature of that self that sets you free.

In Buddhism the conventional self (the self you normally think is who you are, your body and mind) functions to experience results of actions and creates actions (karma), it's the basis of your life. But there are two levels of truth to this self: conventional truth, what appears or we think is true, and ultimate truth, what is actually true.

If you continue to study for a long time using flawless Buddhist logical reasoning, you'll come to know that true nature and have no problem, there will be no contradiction with what appears to be true and what is actually true.

It's innappropriate for me to go into any further detail here. But i'd say you are making great progress my friend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not really into Buddhism or anything, I'm just deciding what is true for myself. Right now I don't think there really is a self, because not only does the self exist in our head, but it also cannot exist in a single moment, but only over an extended period of time.

Anyway, back to an affirmation that convinces me to be in the moment I think that the word feel definitely needs to be eliminated. We want to feel a certain way, but using the word feel in an affirmation will not help us.

What words can replace feel? Be and experience.

So instead of, "I want to feel alive," I could say, "I want to be present," because being present is fully in my control, and will lead to the feeling I want. Now I don't think that is a perfect affirmation, but I'm on the right track.

I could also say, "I want to experience life," which would also convince me to be in the moment, because to experience one must be aware, right? Not only that, but it would allow me to appreciate any moment as part of life, and since I want to experience life, whatever I'm experiencing is good.

The only reason I'm throwing this stuff out there is for other people who try to create affirmations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Omnium, I think we are pretty much on the same page, except I'm not one for meditation. I don't think meditation recharges you (not sure if you think that or not, I'm just saying), rather than thinking simply drains energy. I think meditation stops you from thinking, which saves a lot of energy while you are meditating, and then it kind of sets you up to think a lot less during the day.

I think meditation is great, if you know how to do it properly, but I'd rather figure out a way to keep my mind at bay actively during the day, at all times.

Almost like constant meditation, but without any actual meditation (because really, meditation takes time, time that we could be experiencing things).
 

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WOW. This is some pretty good esoteric stuff. I am also a big proponent of Eckhart Tolle, spiritual awakening and Buddhism, and try to embody the beliefs you guys are talking about.

You really should consider meditation Anon7. It's really a great way of freeing the mind and experiencing enlightenment. Affirming to yourself such words as "I want to be present," doesn't always work. I find that I'm a lot calmer AFTER meditation, thus, I'm thinking less. Try not to over think meditation. It is what it is, a simple state of presence and disassociation from the self. The more you practice mediation, understand it and master it, the better you will feel, trust me.

Omnium11............WOW. 3-4 hours a day of meditation is a lot. I'm glad that you're able stay present for so long. You must be a Zen Master by now. LOL. Must of taken a lot of practice.

More stuff I wrote from Anon7's original post:

I've learned to detach from the ego and live in the moment as well. We are just living entities living in our "body" form right now. Unfortunately, most people are attached to the ego and live through their ego. Thus, they go around everyday being occupied and controlled by their thoughts, not realizing that they are not their minds. Control your mind or it will control you, that's what I've learned. You must become the impartial spectator (the watcher) of the the mind\ego. You must realize that true happiness, true bliss comes from within, not from the external world. Unfortunately, there will probably always be atrocities in the world because so many people are attached to the ego and embody characteristics such as hate, envy and judgement of others. Be happy with who you are and live in the "now". I also believe God is ubiquitous as well, though (I must admit), part of me does take more of a scientific approach to the world and life's origin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Something interesting I was just thinking:

All our main wants boil down to one thing, self worth.

Judging or trying to define our self as something is the reason we have egos.

Look at all your main wants, and they all lead to increasing your worth.

For example, wanting a beautiful girlfriend or something. It's not just about the sex, you also want LOVE from beautiful women. Why? Because it makes you feel like you're worth more.

Wanting money and power, it's all the same. Wanting to help people even, it's about increasing your worth.

The only way to get rid of these wants, these things that have control over you, is to eliminate the sense of self.

This is just further proof for people who are skeptical about this stuff.
 

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Hey guys, I just had a little break through and actually deleted a fairly long post to write about what I now think is more accurate and useful information.

I don't know a whole lot about Buddhism-I know there are many sects/schools of Buddhism with some conflicting beliefs, but I'm not sure which one I was reading about when I first came across the words, "false sense of self".

I've interpreted these words for myself, and it may or may not be an accurate interpretation, but what I've come up with is pretty much gold in my opinion.

What is a self? I believe our true selves are just blank slates, but what we think of ourselves as is a creation of our minds. Our selves are just concepts in our heads based on memories of what we've done and what has happened to us in the past.

However, without a past we have no self. Life is a series of moments (infinitely small amounts of time), and if we were to isolate a specific moment, let's say the present, there would be no real self. The self can only exist over a period of time, but in the moment, there is no self.

What I'm saying is, all your opinions and everything you think about yourself is not true. Your self was molded over time in your head, but it's just an idea, nothing more. In this moment, you cannot be defined or judged as anything. Whatever your idea of yourself is, it does not have any bearing over the present. You can do whatever you want, and what happens to you can be totally different than what you'd expect for your self.

The self is really just like a pet we take care of. It's a pain. We protect it, worry about it, think about it's future, for what? In the moment, the self doesn't exist, but in the past we believe it has, and we believe it will have a future.

What are the benefits of KNOWING you have no self? Well, like I was saying, you won't have anything to worry about, you can live in the moment without constantly reviewing the consequences of every little thing that you do or that happens. It would not only cure S.A., but it would help anyone with depression, anyone with any sort of fear, and most of all, it would allow you to live in the moment and stop letting your life pass you by.

So if you can get to the point where you fully understand that you don't have a self, and that all life is is YOU experiencing each moment one by one, you WILL find peace and mental relaxation.

Please come up with any kind of contradicting argument you can think of because I don't think I made this very easy to understand.
i think we do have a self but tha the social anxious self is jnot our real self, its just a self that we have created like you say by past memories and experiences etc....

i think our real self is 100% positive, there is nothing negative about it, its perfect , and that the goal of life is to to beat all of our false selves and get back to our authentic selves
 

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This is all very thoughtful stuff (I have to admit I didn't read every word -- a short attention span is one of my major problems), but there's one important thing to remember, and one that everyone here should especially understand:

THERE'S NEVER, EVER ONE IDEA THAT RELATES TO EVERYONE.

If your realization of yourself helps you, that's fantastic, and congratulations. I hope it helps others too. For me, what you say doesn't relate at all. I do have (as alluded to here) two selves: the outward, logical, observant "I" self, and the underlying, emotional "real" self. My difficulty arises because "I" have absolutely NO CONTROL over the real self. As a result, psychotherapy, exercises, and meditation do not work, no matter how hard I try. My logical self can go through the motions, but if the real self doesn't want to, there's nothing I can do about it. It has to come from within the real self, or it's nothing.

If YOUR real self is "100% Positive," then it is, and good for you. But not everyone's is, so the word "our" doesn't apply. Mine definitely isn't, and there's nothing I've found that can change it.
 

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Hey, this sounds similar to the book I'm reading right now. I'm not buddhist myself, and don't meditate for some reason (but grew up around buddhism). But anyway it's called How to See Yourself as You Really Are and it's written by the Dalai Laama. I have thought about this kind of thing a lot when I was a kid and teenager so I really just skim over the pages, but it still brings a lot of good things to mind. It's like when you're just sitting in a park and looking at a tree in full bloom your like "what is this tree?" And you realize it's not the full foliage, but it's not what it is in the barren winter either. It is just what it is in the moment. We have really firm ideas of what things ARE, but they really aren't as solid as we make them out to be. It's very true. We have to bend our minds around the world a bit to see it as an organic whole, that is just creative in its essence, rather than set in stone.

Life is what you make it!
 

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Again, "Life is what you make it!" only if you have the control to make it into something. If you have no control (as I don't) then life is exactly what it is and there's nothing you can do to make it into something else. My big wish in life is that people could understand how frustrating such catch-all motivational comments are -- they just don't apply to everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is all very thoughtful stuff (I have to admit I didn't read every word -- a short attention span is one of my major problems), but there's one important thing to remember, and one that everyone here should especially understand:

THERE'S NEVER, EVER ONE IDEA THAT RELATES TO EVERYONE.

If your realization of yourself helps you, that's fantastic, and congratulations. I hope it helps others too. For me, what you say doesn't relate at all. I do have (as alluded to here) two selves: the outward, logical, observant "I" self, and the underlying, emotional "real" self. My difficulty arises because "I" have absolutely NO CONTROL over the real self. As a result, psychotherapy, exercises, and meditation do not work, no matter how hard I try. My logical self can go through the motions, but if the real self doesn't want to, there's nothing I can do about it. It has to come from within the real self, or it's nothing.

If YOUR real self is "100% Positive," then it is, and good for you. But not everyone's is, so the word "our" doesn't apply. Mine definitely isn't, and there's nothing I've found that can change it.
It doesn't sound like you understand yourself fully. We are all the same inside. Our experiences and knowledge is all different, and that turns us into very different people, but what makes us living beings, that is all the same.

And you're true self has no emotions. I don't agree with the positive comment that other guy made either, our true selves are just unbiased observers. Probably the first 3 posters are on the right page as far as that goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This is a contradicting point that is very interesting. This is to Omnium11 and NYR22 mostly:

Who wants happiness?

If our true selves are like blank canvases, I guess that means that our human selves or whatever are the ones that wants happiness.

That's ****ed. So we don't even really want happiness.

Actually... you know why? It's because our true selves are happy. Constantly. They're emotionless, but, as I read somewhere online, happiness is easiest described as what it's not, because when you strip away all our emotions we are happy.

So that leads me back to where I was, thinking that deep down we just want to live in the moment and fully experience. (edit: But why want anything if we are already happy?)

But who is trying to please their true self?.... lol.

I know that an affirmation is not the answer, because when you use an affirmation you are encouraging the false sense of self, because you are addressing yourself.

BUT I think it is possible to wrap up an idea into one carefully worded sentence that can get me in the right frame of mind. And that's what I want, and it won't be an affirmation, but it could be a question or a general statement that is undeniably true.
 

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every soul seeks happiness (when we accept who we are, we achieve happiness), beauty, to feel wanted, and to feel important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
every soul seeks happiness (when we accept who we are, we achieve happiness), beauty, to feel wanted, and to feel important.
People gotta stop posting in here without reading any of the posts :(

This contradicts so much of what we're talking about it's... something.
 

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true i haven't read the whole thread but

self = what we have learned through out or life

not self = what has taken control of our self
 
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