In contemplation, one spends much time loosing a sense of self. The presence is everything and becomes your focus. The self disappears. This often creates a strong sense of ‘loosing ones self’. In some sense, I disappear within the ‘presence’.
Often, when one ‘looses ones self’ it feels like you’re a different person or that you don’t know who you are. Sometimes this can be frightening. I will have these senses of ‘is that me?’ quite often. Even in talking I will feel different and wonder who it is who’s talking. I’ll see myself in the mirror and see someone else. It’s like my self changes so much that I can’t keep up.
Sometimes, when I do things, the activity seems to have a life its own. I am not there, only the activity seems to exist. There is a sense of great absorption in things. To me, there is a sense that life is ‘lived’.
There is often a great change in the sensing of time. Often, I will loose sense of time or time will seem really ‘full’ (by this I mean a lot has happened).
In reality, the ‘loosing of ones self’ is not a loss of self. It’s a rediscovery of another self, one that is different than ones normal everyday self. In many ways, this self if actively living. It is the doing self, the experiencing self. It is the self that is joined with the activities of life. I speak of this as the ‘experiential self’.
Because this self is focused on the experiencing, this self does not reflect on itself. It does not concern itself with its makeup. In other words, it is not a self that maintains its ‘self’. A big part of our normal self is that it needs to maintain our ‘self’, keeps it going, stable, balanced, and healthy. This makes it a ‘maintaining self’, which the ‘experiencing self’ is not. The ‘experiencing self’ does not care for the maintenence of the ‘self’, only in its doing and experiencing. As we grow older we tend to focus on our ‘maintaining self’ and forget the ‘experiencing self’. One of the effects of this is that we tend to feel that life is flying past us. It seems that life is ‘lived’ in the ‘experiential self’.