delete the ‘my’ in myself


POSTCARD#390: Bangkok: After hours of inert television watching I switch it off just to see what the room I’m in, looks like. The severity of greyness is devastating. All the appealing colour and images, and perfect celebrity dental work, all of it sucked into the silence of a room ‘on hold’. I’m not used to being absolutely with body and mind… by the way, where is Mind? Intrusive thinking nearly shoves me off my seat into an elbow-supporting-head and eyes blinded by the squabbling politician of recent TV watching, downloading a self that I hope knows how best to cope with these bad feelings that are quarreling and heckling in my head! The desire to punish, hurt destroy – the sheer hatred of a person/situation, generating energy both seductive and addictive. So much political ill-will and ambient anger about the place, a spark could ignite a storm.

Uninvited thoughts gate-crash the party, shouting out: “Stand back and stand by!” I shudder at the thought, four more years, maybe ongoing, and in a dystopian world, Donald and Covid re-elected (⌘C ⌘V) over and over. All I can see and hear is dark and does not bode well. Bleak TV documentaries showing in the Mind; a clamor of conjured-up characters and the story of their sad lives. “What am I looking for?” but the way is blocked by a dense cloud-like thought that states: “Searching for something creates the certainty that it’s lost.” I attempt to disown everything that belongs to me. Delete the ‘my’ in my-self. They’re not ‘my’ thoughts; they are just thoughts. None of this is ‘mine’, I don’t think these thoughts, these thoughts think me. I don’t breathe the air – the air breathes me.

Cognitive functions synchronize things so the world appears to be how I choose to see it. I don’t look out at the world, the world looks in at me, sees me, watches me… there, waiting for instructions. It’s another illusion of self because there is no “me” of substance in here. Sounds are heard, but there’s no listener. Smells, touch, tastes trigger responses I’m pulled towards or repelled by. It’s not what I thought – that the five senses are there to serve and protect the body. The body is there to serve the five senses ever seeking pleasure and delight one way or another.

Mind contemplating the experience of the body seated on the chair; aware of the places where legs touch the seat, the touch of arms on armrests, bearing the weight, and everything else is just this invisibility. I’m not aware of the mass of internal organs… slightly unnerving; get up and walk around. Feet appear down below: left, right, left, right. Images of wood-block-patterned flooring enter my vision, floor mats, legs of furniture – objects seem to pass through the body. All I can see is the flooring and bare feet walking, now left, now right. Now on the staircase descending, further and further away from the television room, reaching the downstairs room and (outdoor shoes on) out to the garden.

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”[Thich Nhat Hanh]


Photo: [Link] Sibylle Berg with T.Roadz, one of the British grime artists who joined her on a reading tour of Germany

11 thoughts on “delete the ‘my’ in myself

  1. Oh, Travis, I wish I were half way to where you are at with the deletion I f w b o. I am only just beginning.

    Trump has a way of bringing out hate. I have had to lessen my news watching so that I can remain without anger and hate. If you believe in the devil, Trump would an incarnation of him.

    Things are so bad here. The virus is rising again and we have a leader who has no plan other than letting people just die. What happened to the value of human life.

    Thank you for addressing the situation. It is dire.

    • Hi Ellen
      The way you feel about Trump is the way all of us feel – everywhere in the world. I can say this because It’s unlikely we’d have Trump supporters browsing the comments in a blog called dhammafootsteps who might disagree and I don’t count pockets here and there of the ‘blue collar whites without a degree’, maybe some people would say I should, well anyway, I don’t because Trump is a poison, the less said the better. It might be sticky and tricky but we’ll get rid of him around the end of the year. Then there’ll be Repair and even that should give us a little inspiration.
      T

  2. Sorry for all the typos.. I have a migraine and I just sprained my foot falling. I was trying to say I wish I could be where you are in deleting the I. And Trump is the devil incarnate. Apologies.

  3. A beautiful post sharing your experience of mindfulness❤️ I stay out of politics it’s a dividing sea all over the world. It leaves room for magic to happen and it could come from the trump card🥰 much love to you x

    • Thanks Barbara, you’re right about the dividing sea all over the world, and I find it’s difficult to stay out of politics sometimes. I don’t have the trump card in my hand, looking for magic to happen from elsewhere, much love to you too
      T

  4. Dear Dhamma Farer
    I came across your blog just today, and saw some of the posts were written when you were in Delhi. Looks like you’ve moved on. We now have a meditation center in Delhi where Ajahns are invited to offer Dhamma reflections (before the lockdown) (aranyavihara.in). Looks like you are going through intense physical conditions, and keeping up through it with your Dhamma practice. It’s uplifting to see. Would be nice to connect with you from India.
    With regards and good wishes.

    • Hi Deepti, Good to hear from you, we were in Delhi for seven years, left there three years ago and now in Thailand. Good to know there is a meditation centre in Delhi, I hope you’re able to pick up the pieces after extended lockdowns. I checked out your website at aranyavihara.in and recognised Sister Chandasiri in the large photo at the bottom of the home page. We did have the opportunity to connect with some Ajahns coming from Europe on their way to Bodhgaya. Those Ajahns going there from Thailand usually went through Gaya airport.
      Towards the end of the time in India I contracted this headache condition through Post Herpetic Neuralgia in the Right Occipital Nerve. It’s been with me for five years now. In some ways it has brought my practice to an end, as it used to be. On the other hand, working around it has enlarged some areas of contemplation, and I’m glad things are as they are.
      Stay in touch
      Tiramit

      • Thanks for the note, wish you fortitude while being with the headache condition. Your blogs are beautiful.. they help in get in touch with the contemplative within.

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