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No mind.

Who are you when no one is watching?

Who are you when you strip off all your makeup, possessions, job titles, accolades, money, and status?

Who are you when everyone you love walks out of your life?

I often ask myself these questions. While they provoke deep thinking in me, it doesn’t take me long to know the answers…

…until I asked myself this:

Who are you without your thoughts?

“Without my thoughts!? Am I still even myself without my thoughts?” I wondered.

It’s true… I talk to myself all the time. I’ve always known there’s something strange in how I process my thoughts, feelings, and sensations since I was young, though I wasn’t aware of its intensity until recent years. It’s been the norm for me to feel surrounded by various chains of thoughts. It’s not the overthinking kind (I overthink all the time, but that’s a different topic). It’s the kind of thoughts that feel like an inner wellspring that constantly flows inside and outside of me, making me often question if they’re my thoughts or if I’m just channeling them.

If they’re my thoughts, then why do I always feel a massive rush to write everything down as if I were in an exam trying to copy someone else’s answers before they move on to the next question? I didn’t understand.

For almost two weeks, I tried to observe my thoughts and let go of my need to write them down. It was tough. And I’m not gonna lie, I cheated a few times, though I let go of at least 90% of my thoughts. Writing often feels like purging (I’m sure there’s a more elegant way to describe it, but that’s how it feels to me). Part of me wants to write them down because I’m afraid I will forget them, and the other part needs to write them down so I can get them out of my head and move on.

I’ve observed myself reaching the state of ‘no mind,’ which isn’t about having no thoughts, but simply feeling my thoughts pass through me instead of holding onto them. Perhaps it’s not “I think, therefore I am,” but “I feel, therefore I am.” Perhaps it’s not about trying to control or possess but learning to feel the sensation and dance with the chatter inside our heads.

And perhaps, that’s who I am 💭


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