Who am I?

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  • Chogetsu
    Member
    • Feb 2009
    • 24

    Who am I?

    I've always had the question of 'who am I?', or 'What is it that makes me, me?'

    Its not an eternal, unchanging self... So maybe its some sort of flowing 'spirit', but that brings me back to the Anatta Sutra, and theres nothing I can point to and say, thats my 'essance'.

    Correct me if im wrong, but when a person wanted to study under Bodhidharma, he told him to go away and practice and practice.
    When the student returned and told the master he hadn't stopped practicing, Bodhidharma asked him, 'Then who are you?' to which the student replied 'because I know myself very well, its difficult to say who I am', Bodhidharma then accepted him as a student.

    I think when we sit in zazen, we express our true nature.
    Our true nature being like the sky, its easy to point to the clouds and say 'thats my self', but when the clouds drift on, the sky reveals itself, then we come to realise the sky was always there. It never disappeared, and it doesn't suddenly appear or come into existence. It just sort of is.

    Any thoughts?

    Namaste
    When Dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you may assume it is already sufficient. When Dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing.
    Dogen Zenji
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39221

    #2
    Re: Who am I?

    Originally posted by Chogetsu
    I've always had the question of 'who am I?', or 'What is it that makes me, me?'
    Hi Chogetsu,

    Welcome again.

    Ah, you have asked THE question right on your first posting. You have come to the right place. But that is a little like walking through the door of a fruit shop and asking "Where's the fruit?".

    We are always talking "fruit" in this place and, more vital than just talking "fruit" ... is tasting the fruit (ya really can't know its sweet and sour just by reading and chatting about peaches).

    So, here, have a banana!

    he told him to go away and practice and practice.
    Still a good instruction, even now.

    Any thoughts?
    Well, it's those thoughts that are part of the problem to your seeing the fruit for yourself. Have a tangerine!

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • JeffLegg
      Member
      • Jun 2008
      • 39

      #3
      Re: Who am I?

      Q: What am I?

      A: There is nothing in the entire universe that is not you.

      Comment

      • will
        Member
        • Jun 2007
        • 2331

        #4
        Re: Who am I?

        who am I?
        Don't know.

        Gassho
        [size=85:z6oilzbt]
        To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
        To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
        To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
        To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
        [/size:z6oilzbt]

        Comment

        • Dosho
          Member
          • Jun 2008
          • 5784

          #5
          Re: Who am I?

          In years now long passed I was often called "fruity"...now I have an appreciation for that and can say, "Why yes I am."

          Comment

          • jcsuperstar
            Member
            • Nov 2008
            • 39

            #6
            Re: Who am I?

            Originally posted by JeffLegg
            Q: What am I?

            A: There is nothing in the entire universe that is not you.
            im not so sure youre right
            [color=#FF8080:2xha6u8u][size=150:2xha6u8u]????? ????? ?????? ?????[/size:2xha6u8u][/color:2xha6u8u]
            "i need not to know all the answers but merely to understand the questions" - Tozen Akiyama Roshi

            Comment

            • disastermouse

              #7
              Re: Who am I?

              The only question that matters. It might be better to ask 'What am I?'.

              I just posted a blog about this - I looked for a self and only found footnotes that refered me to other footnotes that refered me to stories and further references to a self....just a progression of thoughts ABOUT a self, but nothing that could itself be called the self. It blew my mind back then, but now I see that it's just the way things are and what is mindblowing is that we can manage to not notice for so long.

              Chet.

              Comment

              • Shindo
                Member
                • Mar 2008
                • 278

                #8
                Re: Who am I?

                Hi and welcome

                "Who am I" - you are star stuff.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE9dEAx5Sgw[/video]]

                Kind regards

                Jools
                [color=#404040:301177ix]"[i:301177ix]I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and star[/i:301177ix]s". - [b:301177ix]Dogen[/b:301177ix][/color:301177ix]

                Comment

                • Dojin
                  Member
                  • May 2008
                  • 562

                  #9
                  Re: Who am I?

                  to the question of who i am i can only answer one thing.

                  i dont know, just me, doest it really matter?
                  I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
                  - the Buddha

                  Comment

                  • Tb
                    Member
                    • Jan 2008
                    • 3186

                    #10
                    Re: Who am I?

                    Hi.

                    After you wake up you probably open the curtains and look outside. You may even like to open the window and feel the cool morning air with the dew still on the grass. But is what you see really "outside"? In fact, it is your own mind. As the sun sends its rays through the window, you are not just yourself. You are also the beautiful view from your window. You are the Dharmakaya.

                    Dharmakaya literally means the "body" (kaya) of the Buddha's teachings (Dharma), the way of understanding and love. Before passing away, the Buddha told his disciples, "Only my physical body will pass away. My Dharma body will remain with you forever." In Mahayana Buddhism, the word has come to mean "the essence of all that exists." All phenomena--the song of a bird, the warm rays of the sun, a cup of hot tea--are manifestations of the Dharmakaya. We, too, are of the same nature as these wonders of the universe.
                    -Thich Nhat Hanh, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment
                    From Everyday Mind http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Mind-Tri ... 976&sr=8-4
                    Life is our temple and its all good practice
                    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

                    Comment

                    • Tobiishi
                      Member
                      • Jan 2009
                      • 461

                      #11
                      Re: Who am I?

                      Originally posted by disastermouse
                      The only question that matters. It might be better to ask 'What am I?'.

                      I just posted a blog about this - I looked for a self and only found footnotes that refered me to other footnotes that refered me to stories and further references to a self....just a progression of thoughts ABOUT a self, but nothing that could itself be called the self. It blew my mind back then, but now I see that it's just the way things are and what is mindblowing is that we can manage to not notice for so long.

                      Chet.
                      Best analogy I've seen in a while! Every time I read it it punches me in the nose...

                      Gassho,
                      Tobiah
                      It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

                      Comment

                      • Borsuk
                        Member
                        • Oct 2008
                        • 41

                        #12
                        Re: Who am I?

                        Originally posted by emptyzen
                        Incidently, I wrote a blog post on the very subject.
                        Thanks, I enjoyed that. I very much share your sentiments on this great matter, which to me is, THE great matter. It doesn't move everyone though, and that is fine too.

                        Must read Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj!

                        Gassho,
                        David

                        Comment

                        • Taigu
                          Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
                          • Aug 2008
                          • 2710

                          #13
                          Re: Who am I?

                          Of course, I have really nothing to say.

                          Taigu

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39221

                            #14
                            Re: Who am I?

                            Hi,

                            I would just offer this caution ...

                            What is it that thinks? What am I? Not conceptually speaking, but existentially, what AM I!?!

                            This is the most important question, because without knowing what you are, how can you know if your thoughts have any truth?
                            While you are pursuing your question to find out who you truly are, do not miss the fact that Chogetsu (the fellow who started this thread) is just Chogetsu, Emptyzen (what is your name, as you do not sign your postings?) is just Emptyzen (and each thought of Emptyzen's head just Emptyzen too), and David is 100% precisely David ... without one hair to add or take away from David's head to make him more David.

                            In a vital way, a search like this is much like an onion's searching for its own "essence" (its "True Onion"!! :lol: ) by pealing away layer upon layer*, only to find as the last leaves are pulled away ... emptyness. In doing so, it may miss its own pungent beauty (I guess that in this fruit stand, we sell vegetables too)

                            David (like the others) truly wishes to find the True David ... and he may find many faces of David in doing so. He may find that the farthest stars and each single blade of grass is also just David's face, he may find that Chogetsu and Emptyzen and Jundo are just David's face, he may find the empty core of the onion is just David's face ... he may even find that God is David's face ...

                            ... but he had best never forget that David is just David's face.

                            Is my meaning pretty clear?

                            Gassho, Jundo

                            * Chet, thank you for a lovely way of looking at this.
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • Shindo
                              Member
                              • Mar 2008
                              • 278

                              #15
                              Re: Who am I?

                              Thank you Jundo - that does help.

                              This debate reminds me of this chaps work - perhaps you have heard of him?

                              http://www.headless.org/english-welcome.htm

                              Kind regards

                              Jools
                              [color=#404040:301177ix]"[i:301177ix]I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and star[/i:301177ix]s". - [b:301177ix]Dogen[/b:301177ix][/color:301177ix]

                              Comment

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