I have been focusing on paying attention--feeling my steps as I walk, jotting down the topics of mind chatter, observing my thoughts and so on.  however, I am not seeing anything that approaches the "real self"  or beyond thought or whatever phrase you want to pick.  I find this frustrating as all the wisdom suggest to achieve mindfulness you have go beyond the self or the "I".  Technique doesn't seem to be the answer as we know, but has anyone actually experienced, not as an illusion or by creating an image, higher states of consciousness and the absence of the personality or self?

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Hi Jeffrey,

Nice to meet you.  I am not very familiar with the mindfulness practice.  Is it a discipline of concentration?   Granted,  it is good to be in the present moment and our mind is not all over the place.  Can you explain the ideas behind this approach? 

Thank you.

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To answer your question, I would not say I have experienced the "total absence of self."  I have had glimmers of the higher and subtle planes of consciousness.  At some point I decided not to pay too much attention to the experiences since, like everything else, they are fleeting and, instead, I shifted my focus to living and assimilating the teachings.   Experiences are helpful because we gain insights from them and they confirm our belief of the high realms, but the building of character is even more critical because it elevates our consciousness permanently, from the separated self to the Universal Self.   Through this self-transformative process, we will see that different experiences are nothing more but manifestations of various levels of state of being.    

One of my favorite quotes on this subject – But, O Lanoo, be of clean heart before thou startest on thy journey.  Before thou takest thy first step learn to discern the real from the false, the ever –fleeting from the everlasting.  Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-Wisdom, the “Eye” from the “Heart” doctrine.       

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Well for starters, what is doing the watching of the mind and all its chatter?

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I would say it is manas.  Is ths a trick question?

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It is possible to watch the mind, so it cannot be the mind watching itself.  Maybe I am wrong.

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In all the reading I have done, (Steiner, Krishnamurti, Gurdjieff, etc.) the approach advocated seems to be reaching a 'quiet mind" state.  That means negating the "me". It makes sense on an intellectual level, and yet when I "watch"  the chatter and business of thought, nothing other than a heightened awareness seems to happen, not any sense of higher consciousness or, the void, or whatever the various traditions/teachers seem to be suggesting.  This is what I am asking about is the physical experience, not the theory, of achieving a higher state of consciousness without the self or the I.  I hope this explains it a bit better.  Thanks for your comments.