1.03 Attitudes, Intro - video

"The personal pronoun of I, Me or Mine"


We human beings have multiple ways of knowing the world, inwardly and outwardly, presumably more than, say, an earthworm. We have more dimensions to our interior landscape. In fact, even calling it an interior landscape is not really appropriate because it implies an artificial distinction between inner and outer.

Actually, we are continually co-creating what we call the external world through our senses, and it is not quite accurate to personalize the whole thing, when the process is really quite impersonal.

So in regard to who is seeing or feeling or hearing, I encourage people to look deeply into it for themselves in meditation practice, by questioning, “Who is hearing, who is feeling, who is thinking?” This is a strong practice in the Zen tradition.

You inquire into the sensory phenomena themselves in the moment of their unfolding. What usually comes up is a personal pronoun, as in “I am seeing.” But if you ask, “Who is that?” you come to realize that the pronoun itself is just a thought—a very, very old habit of mind which is itself a construct, a fabrication, rather than an enduring, substantial and independent entity—the way we usually think of “who I am” when we pop out with our name or some information about ourselves.

Source- Jon Kabat-Zinn

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