Who is that guy?

Consider this.

Let’s say you write something.  It might be a paragraph, a long email, a report, or maybe a poem.  You let it sit for a day, and then you re-read it.

Is the person reading those words the same person as the one who wrote them?

In what ways yes and it what ways no?


23 thoughts on “Who is that guy?

  1. A friend happened to be reading an excerpt from Jeanne de Salzman’s Reality of Being, and e-mailed me the following:

    I hadn’t actually read the whole article when I forwarded it, and when I got towards the end I realized it answers your Microwave Meditation question really well. Each day, each moment we have a “new brain” but are slaves to our past experiences and we react accordingly. Throwing out past experience entirely wouldn’t be helpful for sure, but gosh, is it almost equally unhelpful sometimes the way we stay stuck in an old pattern of behavior that isn’t serving us nearly as well as a new behavior might!

    Not that it ever happens to me… just sayin’, I can see how that would be possible … : )

  2. You both do know that microwaves distort food to the point that our bodies don’t even recognize it as nourishment. Of course you do. So it’s a very ironic title, this microwave meditation. Wonderfully difficult to wrap one’s brain around, to get a handle on. The restoration of meditation, the destruction of the microwave. I really like it. A little brain broiling, grey matter roiling, thought stewing, ah yes, would be good for all of us.

    Are you someone? Or something? Or no one? Or no thing? I pick no thing. 🙂

    • A great teacher once told me, as soon as you open your mouth, you make a mistake. So geez, go public to everybody with your mouth open, blog-style, and the first thing you do is pick an evil icon for your meditation/inquiry debate zone. Hoo boy. …and also, fantastic! Thanks for your comments, making me do the brain boil thing just as hard, so it’s working as designed. Kudos.

  3. I would have to say that we don’t really have a new brain every day. We can choose to react and respond differently than our old patterns would lead us, but on many levels, literal and otherwise the brain is formed by our experiences combined with what is given.
    I like the idea of a 3 minute meditation. Will be teaching a stress management workshop for teens in a couple of weeks. Anyone have some good ideas to share? I have done it before, but some 3 minute ideas would be great to share with them.

  4. Hi, Gitama! Great to hear from you, how are you?! Thanks so much for visiting, and for your comments. Yes, thanks, I agree, there is a place for 3-minute meditations! It’s not the ONLY kind to do, but it’s a great start! Send your work pals in our direction, we need all the feedback and critique we can get!

    I have a few brief informal practices written up, and have also reached out to a fellow mindfulness teacher who has a specialty with teens. I can email you what I have, and also point this teacher in your direction if/when I hear back from her. Send me your email address and I’ll get all of this back to you as it rolls in! Cheers, Margaret

    • Yes that sounds wonderful. I actually have an agenda I’ve used twice before. But I am looking to incorporate more stuff. We do movement and work with music and breath and meditation, are in silence pretty much the whole time.
      These are kids who have learning problems and often ADHD. It works pretty well.

  5. that is an interesting point. i guess your thoughts, emotions, stance may change — but your core is the same. you are the same person. you have experienced what you wrote. and there is something liberating about knowing you made a mark, you had thoughts, and you went through a predicament; you existed.

  6. No, everything is changing and if you are referring to the ego then we a completely different matter.

    Rick Hanson in Buddhas Brain details that we construct the brain from past memories woven together to complete a narrative, so to speak. It answers who am I, I am present with all my emotions and feelings without thought.

    it is possible to function without ego at times effectively. Since I wrote something yesterday and show up today totally present, then the ego has changed and is newer.

    if you step away from the ego and let go of judgment all things just are without our judgment or attachment. When you sit in emptiness, the past or future does not exist in the right hemisphere of the brain. Words and numbers are pixels.

    Jill Bolte Taylloy a brain scientist had a stroke which shut down her left computer side of here brain in a four hour period. Maybe she was the first person on this planet who was or is total right brain. She describes the euphoria and expansiveness of the right side.

    She wonders how she is going to get all this back inside our small heads.

    Food for thought?

  7. I think you are still the person who wrote those words, because you wrote them, but you’re also more. You’ve had a day (or more) of more moments and experiences that have shaped you. If you were exactly the same person in every way you’d be stagnant, and no one likes that, really. So some of both I suppose is my answer.
    I actually really enjoy looking back on things I’ve written in the past or art I’ve done. It gives me kind of an outside view into my own person-hood. I think being able to look back on myself gives me a clearer perspective into who I was and induces me to think more on who I want to become.

    • Oh, I love that, ‘enjoy looking back on things I’ve written…” I’m often surprised, sometimes embarrassed, most often perplexed…where did she go, the one who felt so strongly about that! Thank you, Desteni. I bet you’re actually a fine dancer.

  8. let me pose a question, if I may be so bold, what about us is permanent?

    Specifically, the brain, the mind, our emotions, our thoughts, our ego, The “I”, the world, loss, happiness, grief, love, depression, loyalty, etc?

    More food for non thought or is no thought. Big, crater like gap here.

    • Here is my answer to your question: There’s only one satisfactory answer, and you can only live it out. Words won’t convey it. There’s an available list of unsatisfactory words, Suchness, Isness, Your Timeless Nature, etc., etc. They reflect but ultimately cannot contain the answer.

      One way to live it out is to notice everything that is impermanent, and set these aside. Whatever remains after this exercise equals your answer. Good luck, keep us posted, tell us, tell us what you find! Cheers, Margaret

      • So your judgment is there is only one answer.

        I would ask then what did you live out to notice everything impermanent.

        What did you find at the end?

        I have a specific answer from my practice, and you?

  9. One more question,please, before I take my resolve for the night.

    If you are involved in thought about the past, you are missing the only place where living ever happens, the here and now?

    Enquiring minds want to know!

    • Hi, Marty,

      My experience tells me: thinking about the past without knowing this is happening = missing out on This. Thinking about the past and knowing you are doing this = an interesting exercise with all kinds of ramifications. Not thinking at all about any realm of time = timelessness. Cheers, Margaret

  10. Interesting, many, many answers I bet. If we are directing our thought then visiting the past is cool. If we are visiting happy positive or neutral things is only loses the present.

    If you dissociate into the past or have a trauma disirder such as PTSD, intrusive thoughts about low self worth, worry, guilt and shame haunt you. So this question has dire consequencies for those with PTSD, anxiety, depression.

    Not leaving this moment to worry about the future or feel guilt or shame internally can lead to healing.

    So my statement to PTSDers is that if you leave this moment you stopped living because life is experience in this second then we move to the next/

    Well, that is my opinion.

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