If this is your first time to the NTL Newletters, it might be wise to go back and catch up to where we are now ... which is actually the same place we began. However it will not appear that way at first, it will seem as if there were a progression to Now (until it doesn't). If there is an interest in what is being shared here, a little more background might be helpful. Here is a link to the archives
No "story." This has been coming up all month (October) to be looked at. The thing with stories is that they need and "I" to hang out with or to keep around.
Without an "I" there is no story.
If you have been paying attention to the "I" thought as these Newsletters have suggested, you may have noticed that the "I" appears when a "story" appears and vice-versa.
When one sees the "story" they have the ability to drop it. You cannot drop something you do see, however once you see it, it is up to you (sort of) whether the attention goes onto the story/I thought or onto what cannot be thought; the actual "You."
Let's investigate. The "I" thought needs a story to survive. Say you have a story going about how great you are:
"I" am so wonderful, I did this today and everyone was so appreciative of "me."
Thoughts like those we usually do not want to drop because they bring a "good" feeling.
Here is a story that might appear about how awful you are:
"I" am so awful, everyone avoided me today and those that didn't yelled at me for one thing or another.
Those kinds of thoughts usually make us feel bad and so we want to get rid of them.
One can spend their entire life flip-flopping between keeping the good thoughts and attempting to get rid of the bad and not ever take the time to see that both are meaningless and have nothing to do with who you are.
The "trick" (sort of) is that both must be dropped to see this. Not dropped ... in the sense of picked up and put down, but dropped like rain drops falling from the sky ... you don't try to catch them; you simply watch them fall.
As this is done ... you may begin to see the screen (sort of) that the raindrops (thoughts) are falling through. It doesn't move. Only the rain/thoughts move. This is how you begin to see through the "I" instead of trying to get rid of something that doesn't even exist. "I" becomes just another drop/thought of rain.
If you put the attention on the "I" as it is falling, it will make it seem real and you will instantly see this because all the stories will come flooding back for attention. The stories are what make it seem like you are not in the present moment, only because you are paying attention to them, not because they have the power to take you out of it.
Look at the thoughts that you are currently having about who you think you are ... see if you are able to catch the "I" thought in it. Whatever it is that you are thinking about yourself/"I," can you see the thought "I" appear around it? If you can see the "I" thought, take it out ... take out "I" and see if the story has the same meaning. This is the beginning of separating the "I" from the story, if you are able to do that things go much smoother, because then when you see a "story" arise, it will be a trigger to not engage with it, but to use is as tool to stay focused on the Stillness/Screen that the thought/I is appearing on. When you drop the "story" and the "I" thought, what remains ...
It would be great if we could just drop the whole thing right there, because that is actually all there is to it. You watch both the "story" and the "I" thought come and go like rain showers and what remains after the storm and what the storm was/is appearing in ... is what all of these Newsletters have been pointing towards:
Although it sounds simple it is a huge gift in one's life. The Hugest! Because as the attention is placed more and more on Stillness, the tides of life that are created by the rain .... do not swish and swash you all around. You are the center, the Still center that the storm appears in. Prior to this, you thought you were the storm because you had all the attention on the rain.
The Peace that everyone has been searching all their lives for one discovers they are already in. Have forever been in. It is only the "stories" around the "I" thought ... that say one is not.
The reason most overlook this is because you cannot experience what you are in, you can only be in it. Experience is of the "I" thought and of "stories," because both the "I" and "stories" move. This movement makes it seem like they can be experienced. When they are seen through, what remains leave nothing to compare it to or explain it or express about it. All of that kind of stuff is what distracts one from what they are in.
Also, most people have "stories" going on that do not serve them or those around them. The "stories" that have been accumulated through one's entire life (stories about yourself, and others) can now be used to begin to drop them. Even if they are good stories about how good you are or the great things you have experienced, underneath them is the Truth of how utterly indescribable you Truly Are.
You will not lose the stories by giving them up for a bit ... they will still be there (mebe) for you to pick back up, it will just be from a completely different view.
For most this is discovered on their deathbed ... when all "stories" are stripped from them in one full swoop and the Gift of what they are hiding is Revealed. You are lucky (don't make a story about that lol) because you are being made aware that you can drop the stories before you die, and in that, discover what doesn't die.
Stories are dead because they are either already over (past ... not happening now) or are future oriented (which hasn't arrived). When you are able to see this as true, then the stories about what happened or might happen become easier to watch drop because you see they are lies anyway.
Right now, you are reading this without an "I" thought. Without a story about who you are. At first this will seem like a lie, however the more one keeps the attention on Stillness, the more they See that the thoughts are the lies and Stillness is the Truth. It becomes a complete reversal of how one saw things prior to this discovery and you will know this because you will become less and less concerned about yourself.
"Stories" about an "I" are probably what Buddha was looking at as he sat under the Bodhi Tree
. Supposedly Great (in the sense of strength to grab the attention) thoughts of Great things came to him and Awful Thoughts of Awful things came as well (Heaven and Hell) and he sat there and watched them both try and tell him who he is and what he should do and how he should do it and he didn't move. He let them all come, until there was no power left at all in them to make him move.
You have the same capacity.
This is not about becoming a Buddhist, it is about where one is pointed ... beyond all stories, including the story of Buddha.
The stories will come and they are powerful ... obviously ... if they weren't, then no one would be paying any attention to them and we would all be in Peace always (which we are ... except we are not aware of it, because the attention is on the movement).
The "I" thought and "stories" will come whether you want them to or not. The choice you have is whether or not to place the attention on them. They all come like a game (that you actually can have some fun with ... like a training in Peace) where one can see if they can be tricked into believing thoughts are real ...
What isn't believed in simply falls away ... it is what we believe in that sticks around (whether one calls it good or bad). The "I" thought, and all "stories" around it, is the trick and the Treat is what those two things, which are actually one thing ... hide ...
To test to see how attached to a story you are; watch as one arises and see if you are able to also watch it drop without adding to it.
As the stories drop with more and more consistency, you may have some fear come up that you don't actually know who you are without them. See this as simply another thought/story as well, because it is. In this, you will not only have dropped the story, but eliminated the fear as well. You will know the story has been dropped because the fear will no longer be there.
All thoughts are ultimately lies (not bad or good lies, just simply lies) and as one begins to see this by watching them drop; it becomes obvious the stories do not actually have anything to do with reality. You also begin to worry less and less about what you don't know (knowing something is actually the truest form of ignorance; but it seems reversed until it is discovered).
The more stories that arise and are simply watched as they drop reveal the present moment ... which has no story ... and this will continue to become more obvious. The Present Moment and "story/I" cannot co-exist. There is no room for the thought "I" in Truth and paradoxically; the ability to have the thought "I" appears in Truth.
This is not about "good" or "bad" or replacing positive with negative. It is about seeing through all of it.
The good news that comes is that you never had anything to do with any of it, you were simply gifted the ability to watch/witness it all appear and disappear in You.