Thursday 10 May 2012


When we are little children we learn to speak through labelling. At least this is how I remember.
Mum would ask - what is this?
I would say- this is a house
This is a car.
This is a window.
This is me.
Where is your nose?
Here is my nose, and I would touch it...

I have learned to label things and experiences and tested my limits and limits of my parents patience by throwing things, by saying no, by trying not to be conditioned. You know that little rebel age if you have kids.

So I learned the language and started using it, communicating with other people. One of most important words was me and mine: this is my toy, not my brother's.

No one has ever told me that 'me' is a word that is only useful in communication with others. Without others, there is no me, without I there is no them.

Somehow this belief in a me became stronger and took over, it became the central belief around which everything else was turning. It's like a belief, that earth is the centre of the universe, I became the centre of my world.

Until I looked. It really was just one look, it took a few seconds and all the search was over. The search for clarity, the quest of 'who am I?' was seen as cosmic joke.

There is no who.
There is nothing here in direct experience that is separate from experienced. Just this. Always now.

If you want to test this, simply do this little experiment that won't even take much of your time. All you need is 20 minutes, a pen & paper.

First write what you are experiencing right now using words I and me. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just plain description of here now.

Like this-
I am laying in bed. I am hearing the rain, I am typing these words..

Do it for 10 minutes. Watch the body, are there any sensations of tightening or relaxing?

Then for next 10 minutes write without words I and me. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs:
Waiting for next thought, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing the rain.

Again watch what is happening in the body.

Now compare the two ways to label experience- is one truer than the other? If so, which one? What is here without labels? Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?

Your body knows. I is a label, not experiencer. Not a thinker, not a doer, not a hearer of rain. I is not what makes eyes blink and it is not a breather, it's a word, that is used for convenience of communication. If it's believed to be an entity, the mind is confused, the body is tensed up. Unconfusing it is simple- bring attention back to now and look once again- is there a me behind the word 'me'?

Life is happening. Looking is happening. Getting lost in the story is happening. With or without label I.

What is not on automatic?
And do we really need to be enslaved by labels? After all, experience is what labels point TO.

The story goes on. The belief in story drops away. The story is way much more enjoyable without the fear that something can happen to this 'me' once it's clearly seen that there is no actual me. Confidence, grace, fearlessness, peace with what is starts to shine through as fear gets loosened.

Imagine that! Humans got screwed by labels. And look at world of fashion- labels are so important!

So much emotional pain, such strong desire to get home, when home is all there is. Right here- underneath all the labels. Here, now waiting to be recognized.

Look. Don't think, just look.

Related Article- The trick of Language


  1. Ilona,

    I just love the exercice: it exactly fits my expectations for helping the clients on the forum. I just posted it to 2 of them: let's wait the results!

  2. I found this article on one of the threads, put it in my favorites, and hadn't read it til now. Just wanted to tell an experience I had today: I was looking inside for an "I", "me" "self"....and could not locate one.....Then I noticed I was projecting my mind outward...and had the sense of an "I". I have not done any One-on-One yet...just reading the threads and applying what I read. Just I on the right track, or duping myself...which I am very good at by the way.


  3. I have always missed successfully J.Krishnamurti, even the last talk in India I missed him. Just the stupid labeling can make us LIFE itself.

  4. well correction to the above!
    I have always missed successfully J.Krishnamurti, even the last talk in India I missed him. Just the stupid labeling can make us loose LIFE itself.

  5. Appearances are determined into existence. Why must we determine them? Because they don't intrinsically exist. For example, suppose somebody wanted to make a marker. He would take a piece of wood or a rock and place it on the ground, and then call it a marker. Actually it's not a marker. There isn't any marker, that's why you must determine it into existence. In the same way we ''determine'' cities, people, cattle - everything! Why must we determine these things? Because originally they do not exist.

    Concepts such as ''monk'' and ''layperson'' are also ''determinations.'' We determine these things into existence because intrinsically they aren't here. It's like having an empty dish - you can put anything you like into it because it's empty. This is the nature of determined reality. Men and women are simply determined concepts, as are all the things around us.

    If we know the truth of determinations clearly, we will know that there are no beings, because ''beings'' are determined things. Understanding that these things are simply determinations, you can be at peace. But if you believe that the person, being, the ''mine,'' the ''theirs,'' and so on are intrinsic qualities, then you must laugh and cry over them. These are the proliferation of conditioning factors. If we take such things to be ours there will always be suffering. This is micchāditthi, wrong view. Names are not intrinsic realities, they are provisional truths. Only after we are born do we obtain names, isn't that so? Or did you have your name already when you were born? The name comes afterwards, right? Why must we determine these names? Because intrinsically they aren't there.

    Ajahn Chah

  6. thanks wonderful

  7. I love this. So true. Thank you!

  8. I just tried this. When I write without "I" or "Me", I found myself try to write "my" or "me". I noticed the clear automatic habit. And feeling awkward little without writing "me" or "my" in front of face, body. This is clear notification of "I" thingy habit.

  9. My mind was perfectly poisoned in a forestry school. I went to this school with love for nature, but after its completion all the respect and charm was gone. Every tree, every plant and flower or animal has a nonsense name assigned by someone and forced it to others. And we had to learn it as a truth. And yet, did anyone think if a tree, flower, or animal is interested in human naming? So I have deliberately forgotten and purified my feelings and my mind, and the perception of natural magic is back.There is only the pure existence of trees, plants and flowers, as it always has been.