Emptiness and the self - part 1

In my last post I was rattling on about how useful and refreshing an empty bowl can be. Moving on, I will now attempt to convince you that we are intrinsically empty and that this is an excellent idea to see for yourself. However, this may not be an easy thought to digest (if indeed you even bother to put it into your mouth (mentally speaking)).

So then, how to appreciate that we are not really who we think we are? First step is to acknowledge that we have thoughts and that these thoughts come and go. Try it now, observe your mind: what's he on about, I have better things to do, I need to do the washing up, why does no-one do the washing up, what's the world coming to, and so on. We see the thoughts, they contain ideas and new ones come up. One interesting perspective to realise is that: no-one else can hear your thoughts. Is that important? Well, perhaps.

Thoughts come and go. We see them come and go. Now we might dig a little deeper and ask ourselves: where do these thoughts come from? So we sit there waiting for a thought and one immediately appears. Perhaps we are unable to stop our thoughts; they just keep coming one after the other, after all (we might argue) it is who we are. However, we might reach a gap in this constant barage of internal tick tocking: who are we then? Perhaps if we sit in the gap long enough, we notice that thoughts are arising based on conditions: what we watched on TV, what we have to do, what happened earlier, what happened last month, the pain in my toes. (Occassionally, we get thoughts that come from out of the blue but I will not go there today).

A dog barks, we think 'annoying dog'; were we there to think it, or did it just happen by itself? You might like to amuse yourself over a period of time with this question: who is thinking? Am I in control of what thoughts I think?

I think that will do for now. I have used quite a few : in this post - for some reason, using different symbols makes me feel good.

Anyway: apologies for that!

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