After I wrote the last post yestereday, something compelled me to just sit and meditate. There's nothing else going on so why not. But there was an element to it that was unique. I wasn't doing it because I was forcing myself to, my body just sat down and I closed my eyes. I began to ask the question over and over again, who is this that is so miserable? Where is this thing I call me? My mind would come up with an answer, and for me there's a general feeling of self that is composed of thoughts and feelings. It feels pretty solid. There is a real sense of a being somewhere. I really started to inquire into that.
This time I finally looked closer, I noticed that any thought or feeling I could point out that seemed like a "self" would gradually pass. My answer at one point was, "I am that feeling in my chest." So I would hone in on that feeling, and closely examine it. Okay, so there's a location in my awareness that is around my chest that feels like me. As I witnessed this feeling, my awareness would shift back to a thought, and the awareness in my chest would diminish as I paid attention to my mind again. What I came to see is that all of these thoughts, sensations and feelings that I have come to think of as "me" are really just coming and going and what stays is the awareness of everything coming and going. These moments of being the witness of the "emptiness dancing" (as Adyashanti calls it) were quickly labeled and described by the mind. At that point, I could easily detect the mind's desire to stay in control and just let it be another thing arising in awareness. So I let go and was able to see something, it danced, and I watched.
This misery I've been feeling has been mind driven and it really pisses me off because now I am beginning to see there is no real "self" that is feeling anything. It's the identification of some self that is the problem. My days have been bleak to say the least, with no plans, no people, no drive to do anything, the nothingness has been teasing my very existence. The mind's reaction is to find a problem with my situation, why I'm not motivated, why I'm so tired, and it resists, resists, resists facing the moment. After 2 weeks of this my body finally stopped and I finally took a moment to see what was all this disturbance about. This nothingness that is life for me right now is the perfect background for me, because it is calling me to look deeper. Life is asking me to look a little more closely at it. And I finally did. This time it was a pleasant experience. Not some mind blowing enlightening experience, but there was a calming effect to being able to remove myself from the identification with the noise in my head. The other thing I noticed was that my thoughts were like a shifting entity, with a shape and a location. Throughout the meditation, this location shifted shapes, sometimes I could sense it in the upper left quadrant and sometimes out in front of me.
Inquiry has always been a mystery to me. Now I have my own experience of it and understand a little better about what it means to really look at the question "Who or What am I?"