Author Topic: Observing without dialogue  (Read 2060 times)

otto1817

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Observing without dialogue
« on: August 02, 2014, 09:48:13 PM »
Hello, a new starter here, delighted to have found this forum.  I've just read "Mindfulness In Plain English" and am part way through "Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world".  I'm struggling in a specific area and hope someone might be able point me in the right direction. I should say I would love to go on a beginners retreat, but as a new dad it's not possible to leave my wife unsupported for so long.  At some point perhaps I'll be able to get to a short weekend course (UK).

This is my issue...
When I consciously think about studying my feelings I'll talk to myself, in my mind, about how and what I'm observing, such as insecurities I carry throughout the day.  This feels like progress, and has allowed me to take some first steps towards awareness.  The problem is that when I try to meditate and focus on my breathing, I stop the inner dialogue voice, but all my self awareness goes with it!  I'm no longer in touch with and able to observe my feelings to the same degree, and all that's left behind are trivial things like an itchy nose.  I might wait to see what comes into my mind, but even when something does, I don't know how to perform the act of observing it without talking to myself about the observation process, e.g "I'm feeling frustrated, I should just watch it". 

What am I doing wrong?  I'd assumed that I should just observe and not consciously opt to have an inner dialogue, but my mind just ends up blank.

I apologize for my naivety. I'm very grateful to have found vipassana after years of searching for the unknown.  I hope to put my enthusiasm to good use.



Dharmic Tui

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Re: Observing without dialogue
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 10:06:18 PM »
You need not have to have thoughts and feelings all the time. I think people get caught up trying to fix their emotional problems and don't realise not every moment needs something to fix or contemplate, or reveal some deep truth. You can just sit there, with nothing going on. Nose gets itchy, cat meows for food, you think you need to go to the toilet. No matter.

Enjoy the blankness and welcome.

otto1817

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Re: Observing without dialogue
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 06:47:01 AM »
Thank you, Dharmic Tui, this is very useful.  I've probably misunderstood observation for analysis.

Goofaholix

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Re: Observing without dialogue
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 06:42:03 AM »
I've probably misunderstood observation for analysis.

that's a good observation, usually the commentary that keeps on yapping away in the mind is pretty useless, it just tells you what you already know and distorts perceptions with your preconceived ideas.

So yes drop the analysis and just observe the raw boringness of it all.  What you'll find is the analysis will feel neglected and get louder and more annoying, if you just observe it without reacting eventually it will run out of steam, You'll feel more at peace and you may find then that answers to the problems you would normally try to analyse to death arise intuitively in the mind.

clayton

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Re: Observing without dialogue
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 06:08:10 PM »
I read this thread many days ago... and it has become apparent to me today that I was not observing.  part analysis and desire to control/fix what I was experiencing and identifying with whatever it is became my experience.

by observing, yes, it does seem to run out of steam. feelings of tension or stress by being observed are actually 'felt' then 'released'..
Follow your nose

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Observing without dialogue
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 08:04:52 PM »
Quite right Clayton, feelings will come and go, if you analyse them you run risk of solidifying them and maybe even amplifyingthem. If you don't turn them into a mental object they're far less likely to grow. We make our demons.

 

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