One technique of Gary's that really highlights the contents of your thoughts is to sit in a comfortable, quiet place for at least 5 minutes. Take some calm, slow breaths and focus exclusively on that for at least a minute. Then imagine 2 buckets, one labelled 'I, me, or mine' and the other 'Thoughts not involving an 'I''. Now pay close attention to the content of your thoughts, and place a pebble in the relevant bucket each time a thought arises.
What you'll quickly realise is that 99% of thoughts are all about you, self referential thoughts. Gary's method, which is heavily influenced by Ramana Maharshi, is to deconstruct the 'I', getting to the source of identity, rather than sorting through every thought.
A lot of the folks from various movements have realised that no 'I' exists, which is true, BUT, the selfing network is still alive, trillions of neurons and synaptic connections in the brain don't immediately rewire, that's just impossible. To quote Gary;
"IME, awakening is not a "once and done", it goes on and on. (i don't use the "e" word as it is so misunderstood). we have roughly 50,000,000,000,000 synaptic interconnections between our neurons; if only 2% of those are used in "selfing" and self-related behaviors, that is still 1,000,000,000,000 that need to be unwound and/or reconfigured. That, thankfully, doesn't happen all at once or it would be cataclysmic. It goes on, and on and on. If anyone declares themselves "finished", they aren't."
"Stillness is capable of endless enlargement."
That is how things are feeling right now, i'm able to abide in that for a short while, yet I can sense it is only a small taste of the endless depth. It can be deepened with practise.
It really is a beautiful thing, the peace I have craved my entire life. Or "the peace that passeth all understanding."
What i've been finding is that not only am I able to abide in this thought free state for a short while, this weekend I was able to be with my partner and had moments where the 'I' was completely dropped and I was able to relate without any self referential thinking. Relate from stillness. It was incredibly peaceful, a kind of nectar to the soul. Our natural state.
One other thing i've noticed while reflecting and deconstructing, is that when in solitude I can be in stillness, but I had some belief that I had to relate to others through a 'self'. Interesting observation. Like I had to be someone to function in the world, but this isn't the case. Thoughts can come up, the right thing to say or do in the moment. From what i've read of the stillness state, this experience is quoted by many noted teachers, Tolle, Weber and Lao Tzu spring to mind right now.
“Do you have the patience to wait
Till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Till the right action arises by itself?”
- Lao Tzu
"This moment is already always as it is, and there's nothing you can do about that. That's what you accept. Then, action that arises has a different energy to it. The will that flows into what you do is no longer egoic."
- Eckhart Tolle
This is how being in the world is starting to feel. When you don't live through an 'I' or for the 'I', you move through the world in stillness and allow things to arise naturally. It really is beautiful.
Another question i've been working with is one Gary sent to me, the way I ask it to myself is; 'if i'm not in alignment right now, WHO isn't alignment?' or 'who/what isn't in alignment right now?' Then I see what comes up. And don't just ask it and wonder off, but see what comes up, be there for a while, see the thought structure in place and it will begin to weaken. Then you'll be drawn more and more into the stillness, as you deconstruct the 'I', it's all that is left. All that is real. All that is true.
Then it won't be YOUR movement, just movement.
Not YOUR words, just words.
Not YOUR stillness, just stillness.
And you begin to align with what is.
Deconstruct the 'I', abide in stillness. Get on it.