I Am Not My Thoughts


Thoughts, thoughts, and more thoughts. I live in a sea of thoughts, ebbing and flowing like the tides. Some are profound (so I like to think), some mundane. The thing is, they are all the same, and they all mean nothing.  They mean nothing in the context of this BIG question, a question so simple, yet so intricate, that Ram Dass poses to all of us on page 15…


Well, I am not my thoughts. I am not all the labels that I have identified with. In thinking about this, I am reminded of Ram Dass talking about a particular LSD experience he had, in which all of the labels he had assumed made up who he was went flying out the door, and all that remained was this essence that many may call Soul, or Atman.

I am not a mother, or a wife, or a daughter, or a sister. I identify so closely with these roles most of the time that to say I am not them is both scary and freeing. Scary in the sense of “well then what can I hold on to?”, and freeing in the sense that I no longer have to live up to the expectations that I have set up to fill these roles. If this were a play, I would be one hard ass director.

Most of my life, I have been playing the role of being who others want me to be, or at least who I think they want me to be. Thank goodness I can let that one fly out the window because that one really sucks!

So who am I then? Well, I am the seer, the one who sees. When I visualize who I am, I see this mini-me sitting on top of my heart, just watching this whole melodrama of my life unfold in a pretty silly way. From this seat, life is beautiful, and extremely humorous. The task at hand is to be able to maintain this position in the heat of a sticky moment. When life is going smoothly, no problem. But when something happens that gives me that icky feeling inside, I usually find myself so absorbed in the issue that I completely forget I am the seer. I become the issue, which is just, well, yuck! Only when the issue resolves do I remember to take that seat back on top of my heart. When I am in this place, the possibilities are truly endless. From here, I can completely open my heart, and see so much more. I can fell this brilliant energy rushing through my body.

It is still hard to believe that I am not my thoughts. But when I read about it in Be Here Now, and in many other spiritual books, I know it to be true. I need no proof. I can just feel it. Why is that so hard to believe? Life in general is hard to believe. It is crazy that we are even here, on this planet, in the middle of space, spinning around, yet not flying off. Why do we always need proof of all this? Parvati mentions Ram Dass saying to her while in India “we are here to bear witness”. With them as witnesses, I have complete faith that what they say is true, and what so many realized beings have said to be true. They simply can’t all be nuts. And if they are all nuts, well, I will strive every day of my life to become as nuts as they are.

6 Responses to “I Am Not My Thoughts”

  • Carin Channing Says:

    I adore you Melissa! What a sweet and to-the-point post. Maybe when we’re sucked into the ick and have lost our seer lenses or can’t find the pocket we put them in, we can hold space for one another. We can be the seers for each other.

    I am on my way back from a week with my family where I went in and out and in and out of the seer position. It is, indeed, harmonious when we can see from up in the observation oak, as I recently envisioned it. It’s poignant and sweet and there’s no blame, no shame, no should, no right, no wrong. Just some silly giggles. And yes, it’s crazy that we’re even here at all.

    So glad to be tripping out with you!

  • Melissa_Duncan Says:

    Oh my dear Carin, how I love your comments. It is a deal, we will see for each other. Next time I get uptight with myself for losing that perspective, I will relax in the knowing that you took watch for that particular situation.
    I hope you had a wonderful time with your family.

  • Terry Lynn Says:

    This truly hits home. There are challenges and courage to stand your ground on the truth, amongst other sleepy beings. But, without judgments, i usually play along. Then i come back to beingness!

  • Jonathan_Anderson Says:

    “Most of my life, I have been playing the role of being who others want me to be, or at least who I think they want me to be. Thank goodness I can let that one fly out the window because that one really sucks!”

    I cannot add anything whatsoever to that. Just a great statement of such a complicated, and common dilemma. I’m opening windows!

  • Zach_Leary Says:

    Yeah. It’s a lovely one and a tough one. Our thoughts are so powerful! They certainly are powerful enough to make you think that you are them. It takes great grace to realize that you are beyond that. great post Melissa.

  • James Anderson Says:

    It’s difficult to say with clarity that “you are not your thoughts” as although it is essentially true that you are not anything at all, experientialy “you” only exists as thoughts, so although you can never be “your” thoughts, you essentially are just thoughts.

    Self is born and dies on a moment to moment basis, in the form of thought.
    When there are no thoughts of self and other, or self interest thoughts such as want and like etc, then no-self is the natural state of abiding.

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