Very new to this, maybe I’m just not doing it right or not practiced enough yet.
I was able to stop and be one with the moment, I think at least, but I have to sort of make myself do it, be consciously aware of listening to sounds and watching the trees move in the wind etc.
I think perhaps I’m still trying to fight the ego instead of being a passive observer, I see my ego recall some past memory and or make a judgement and think "ah! its that bit, thats my ego", then I might try and stop that thought and realise I'm fighting my ego and return to observing the world outside my window so that I get out of my head again.
I think I have a handle on the idea of a vast store of knowledge in my aware self but it seems as though that knowledge is built up from the thinking mind, which is the ego, right? So how could I ever escape my ego completely? It seems like if i were to purely pursue inner peace, I might not get anything else done, beyond responding to stimulus generated outside of myself.
Surely I need the desires, even if materialistic, of the ego to make decisions about how I spend my time, what I try to achieve in my life etc?
I accept the argument that material gain etc. is not a path to happiness, but I also don’t accept or can't understand the idea of not caring at all and putting faith in some kind of divine plan.
I am an atheist, or perhaps militant agnostic? The slogan "I dont know and neither do you" is a good summary of my position.
Is the idea to dip into or make use of the ego to plan the direction of my life; home, job, relationships, do I buy this thing or make that investment or not etc. but not allow myself to get too caught up, invested and controlled by worrying particularly about the outcome?
There is a Zen saying, "don't think with your head, think with your whole body". Usually all energy goes into the head area where thought can become fearful and repetitive, and cut off from intuition.
Forget about ego. Thoughts are just thoughts, leave yourself alone for a moment.
Naturally without dependence of continuous thought, feelings and thoughts can still arise, but they tend to have a spark or a power to them. More inspired and intuitive rather than repetitive and dull.
You might find that things become more spontaneous rather than planned-out, although if you feel to plan something in some way, go with that.
I would just say stop analysing yourself. Don't make a distinction between body and mind, treat the whole body as if it is an intelligent receiver of information and inspiration. Feel the whole body fully, feel the space within it. Don't limit your mind to just somewhere in your head.
Just let your life carry on, and don’t fight against your life. Actually without always referencing personal thought, you may find decision making becomes far easier and more intuitive. Life becomes more feeling-based and less logic based. We are always taught to move logically, based on what we have learnt, what is good and what is bad; but without any intuitive power, this kind of thinking can just become very robotic and out of touch with life. If you give up reliance on the personal mind, thought will still arise, past knowledge can come up, but it is supported by a deeper intelligence, used by it rather than feeling as if just mental noise is trying to make things happen.
But if none of this resonates, then ignore it and just move as you wish, without trying to understand the best way to be.