I had this moment , when I was engaged in conversation of topic with my friend, which we both reveled. I enjoyed the talk and we discussed without inhibition as it was natural. My question is whether I should flow with the events in my natural state of mind/body or just watch the flow of events without engaging fully (because doing and watching are two separate activities,and I can't be doing both at the same time without loss of concentration). When I watch, this creates duality, am I the doer or watching the doer, who is also me. Who is real me?

  • I think the "creation of duality" is only a temporary mess in the beginning. Think of learning piano - at the beginning you watch your playing, learn to get in ever-better resonance with motion, emotion and overview... - and when mastery occurs you can be in the flow, or even be the flow. Have you seen the pianist Lang Lang recently? Wow... Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 9:14
  • will check metta
    – 8CK8
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 3:43

3 Answers 3


My opinion, that feeling of "I, me, mine, or even you etc" is part of high fetters (Sanyojana). specifically, Māna which English translation is related to conceit. This fetter is for people with high paying grade (none-returner) to deal with. As for myself, low fetters, especially the 5 sensual pleasures are handful to resolve already. But many have the ability and strength to deal with all 10 fetters simultaneously, and they have been successful too. My observation, Buddha gave many target specific suttas regarding lower fetters and what to deal with them (perhaps in 100+ suttas), but he gave very general instruction on higher fetters. Basically to see them as 3 marks for existence (subject to destruction, changing, and none-self).


@8CK8, what you have experienced is an “alive (in-the-flow-of-things),” & “timeless” moment when you were engaged in conversation with your friend. Architect Christopher Alexander spent many years trying to pin down exactly what makes a building or a community seem “alive” “comfortable” or “timeless.” Alexander identified this quality to be there in moments of timeless present. If one lives the life of here and now, not in an imaginary tomorrow, or a bygone past, then one is truly alive.

“We cannot be aware of these most precious moments when they are actually happening - such as when trying to finish something late at night over a table with a group of friends, cigarette stuck to lower lip, eyes tired, earnest concentration. It is the time we are most right, most just, most sad, and most hilarious. Places that have this quality, invite this quality to come to life in us. It is a self-supporting, self-maintaining, generating quality. It is the quality of life. And we must seek it, for our own sakes, in our surroundings, simply in order that we ourselves become alive.” (Alexander. Christopher, Timeless Way of Building)

Alexander identified certain examples of architecture that fosters this quality. These places help one to dwell in the eternal timeless present and live the truth that one understands, immediately. Truth is never in the past. Truth is a living thing, and not within the field of time. Sacredness is not found in the past, in memory. The question for you and is, how could we bring this quality to our practice of Dhamma.

Now in seeing through Dhamma eye, ‘in-the-flow-of-things’ can have a positive or a negative connection, depending on the intention. With intensions of generosity you create a positive connection, a connection where good things can flow back and forth. Being ‘in-the-flow-of-things’ and immersing yourself in the breath in the present moment creates positive results as discribed in Limitless Thoughts:

The more immersed you are, the more difficult it is to pull away and start wondering about someplace else. So allow yourself to be immersed totally in the body right here right now: breath coming in, breath going out, whole body breathing in, whole body breathing out. Aware of the whole body, the whole nervous system opening up, all your blood vessels, all the little tiny, tiny muscles in your blood vessels: allowed them relax so that the breath energy has a free rein to flow anywhere in the body at all. This is a very immediate way of showing goodwill to yourself, because it’s both a good place to stay and it’s a process of developing the mindfulness and alertness you’re going to need to learn even more as the meditation progresses.

Now I have to look into this other aspect of distancing oneself from the flow, and how to observe the flow in detachment.

  • Pl. provide reference to The more immersed..
    – 8CK8
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 5:15
  • @8CK8, Pl. give me a day or two for this. I will edit my post to show this. When I copy parts of what I read online, I do not copy the reference - not a good habit. I do hope that I will be able to find same. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 13:08

Your language betrays you. Articulation does not bring you to Enlightenment, because, through articulation you must engage a frame of reference or a representation of human nature. Enlightenment is a state of awareness unhindered by such constructs. Talk about "without inhibition," "natural," "flow," "concentration," "duality," "doer," and "real me," are all theory laden concepts. I have practiced mindfulness meditation for 50 years. On the basis of my experience, I recommend this practice. Enlightenment comes from the Bodhicitta. The intellect cannot help you. The "real me" is, at best, a fool and, at worst, a form of conceit. Be careful.

  • true, for pointing out what one has to look out for, metta
    – 8CK8
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 3:35
  • doesn't one need flags on the path as a directional guide which concepts define
    – 8CK8
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 3:42
  • +1 "a frame of reference or a representation of human nature"... "Enlightenment is a state of awareness unhindered by such constructs"
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 14:43
  • In a deep state of vipassana, a person perceives events and processes that cause consciousness and constitutes basic evidence for believe, theory, explanation, and Buddhadharma. Commented May 19, 2018 at 19:01

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