The focus of my practice right now is being honest with myself (and therefore with others). I never understood how difficult this is to do, or that I wasn't doing it, until I tried it. Much of the time I have hidden motives behind what I do and say, often motives that are hidden even to me. Mindfulness is about teasing these out, discovering WHY I do and say what I do, and stopping myself from just acting habitually.

Really looking at myself in the mirror has been a painful and eye-opening experience. There are a lot of aspects of myself that I don't like. Anatta is a matter of not grasping these aspects and calling them my "self." For example, many times I act in a selfish or impatient way - but to say "I am a selfish (or impatient) person" really doesn't do me any good, because then I feel I have to overcome WHO I AM, not just the negative behaviors I'm doing. There is no "self" that is selfish or impatient. There is only this aggregate of conditions that is acting in a selfish way.

What selfishness boils down to is fear. I am afraid I am going to lose something, some possibility, so I feel I must grasp at it, claim it as mine, before it slips away. It's a problem of narrowness of vision, because if I saw that I am part of everything and everyone, there would be no fear of "losing" anything. Where would it go? I can't gain anything either, at least nothing that I can keep. All my possessions, all my qualities, all my relationships, will someday fade into nothingness, and there is nothing I can do about it. Grasping at them only creates suffering.

I am giving up hope that there is an "answer" somewhere out there that if I just found out, would provide a "solution." There are dozens, hundreds, thousands of answers. Everything is an answer - the cloud in the sky, the piece of gum on the sidewalk, the tightness in my chest. Everything is an answer that leads to another question, and hoping this will at some point come to a resting place is just fallacy. There is nothing to search for... it's like digging through your desk drawers, looking for your glasses, when they are already on your head. Or perhaps you don't need glasses at all - you're desperately searching for something that has no REAL function.

Life is just this, the struggle, the suffering, the pain, the moments of joy and contentedness. There is nothing else out there, and to search in vain is to suffer.