I-making, My-making and Sati-practice

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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I-making, My-making and Sati-practice

Postby dude_different » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:48 am

Hello. This seems like a nice place to hangout :) I have two questions:

1. I have read a sutta that says we should stop all I-making and my-making. I cannot find the exact sutta anymore. I have to wonder though, how are we supposed to get anything done if we can't use the self as a kind of tool to plan to do things in the immediate & distant future? Also, isn't it somewhat useful to have some notion of how you look, behave, smell, etc etc etc. In addition to personal qualities like "i am good at math, writing", etc..? Youd have to be really thickheaded to not see situations where selfawareness can't be useful it seems.
2. I've thought about how to do sati for 2 years now, and i finally feel like i got it nailed. First i had to wade through mountains of disinformation, including this notion of calling sati "vipassana"?? in addition to calling sati "present-moment-awareness" etc etc etc! I am tired(haven't slept tonight, yes i'm a bad Buddhist!) but this is how i do it now: i simply watch all the aspects of phenomenae arise, including my self-thought... . And all the thoughts saying this is stupid, whatever... First i suppose i get more focused & concentrated and then it's like all the phenomenae kinda "adds up" after eachother; this is when i get aware of longer & longer memory even though i am still aware of things arising in the present!! I haven't done it a lot, but have I found some secret here?? The little i have done this and already i am freer than i have ever been; and the world seem so much more beautiful!!

Am i doing it right? How do you do it? And when i ask that, i am really asking how is your experience when "meditating"? :) To be honest i feel like everyone could get enlightened relatively fast if they were to use this method(combined with the non-self teachings of the Buddha), which i Do believe have ample support in the suttas... But perhaps not so much in modern buddhist meditation books!

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Re: I-making, My-making and Sati-practice

Postby chownah » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:26 am

About item 1:
Eliminating doctrines of self (what you call "I-making) is not the same as having a lobotomy. Eliminating doctrines of self will actually add to your abilities and not degrade them at all. You will still see all of the things as clearly as you did before (actually you will see them more clearly) and you will be able to socially fit into the self role that interaction with others require. You will still understand how to do your work and you will still know what is expected of you. You will still know what time it is and what day it is and when your rent is due..........why shouldn't you know all these things?......You don't become a mental cripple.......I guess.........don't know for sure...........

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Re: I-making, My-making and Sati-practice

Postby dude_different » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:58 am

Hmm. I hope you are right. What irked me was the way i read the sutta, i believe it was thanissaro bhikku who translated the sutta. It was on accesstoinsight.org and he was the one that used the word i-making, my-making(or was it mine-making hmm).. It even went as far as recommending we just stop with the i-making and mine-making but that would surely render atleast me like a potato.

Another option beyond the most obvious, that i just misunderstood, is that it is a later text added by someone without a clue. Maybe im just imagining things, but I do think those exists in the Tipitaka.

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Re: I-making, My-making and Sati-practice

Postby barcsimalsi » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:43 pm

When having conversation with others, it will be very inconvenient to dis-identify with the self. Will like to try the word tathagata but it will only cause more delusion to the unqualify user...so back to the old ways of using i, my, mine, myself...

But when i'm talking to myself (conventionally speaking), i took the practice to admonish and fix the thoughts that associated with the notion of self. For example if a thought arose like this:
"my anger appears after i saw my ugly face in the mirror."
After the self-revolution:
"angry thought arose after the eye consciousness came into contact with an ugly object"
And when the mind start questioning how will the sentence make sense, that was when a wholesome habit starts to develop.
Thus the fixing of the thought had helped me to see clearly of mental phenomena rather than going further with my illusion.

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Re: I-making, My-making and Sati-practice

Postby reflection » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:35 pm

From a self-view perspective you can only theorize and imagine the results dropping the self-making. But the fears and desires that you run upon are also created from a self-view. Fearing not to get things done, caring about looks, etc. these things are also based upon self views. So it is the self view that is afraid of losing self view. It can't be another way, but unless you drop the self making distinctly, at least for some moments, it is not possible to really understand why this is part of the recommended path. That's also why sometimes faith and the example of others are helpful.


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