By Patrick Kelly
Self. When describing self (the self, our self), it is prudent to have several definitions in mind. For the purpose of our meditation practices, we define self as our innermost conscious being that is beyond the description of thought and form, what many refer to as our “true self.” There is also the ego-driven self. This self develops as we are exposed to societal norms, interpretations for what is a right or wrong and cultural influences. Often when we refer to ourselves, we seek identification in the search, we define our self through what we do and don’t do, what we distinguish from right and wrong, how we look, how we dress, how we act, etc. We define ourselves through mind-made conditioning and programming. This is the polar opposite of how we find ourselves through meditation. Some believe that when we define ourselves from ego, we limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. It is easy to get caught up in other’s self-identification, it is easy to identify from what we think others expect from us. We often view our fellow humans by how they identify themselves.
A child sat in a classroom and with an open mind listening to the instructor; struggling to define themselves from the description set before them. The teacher said, “If you do this, people will think that. If you act like that, people will think this. If you don’t do this, you can’t be that. And if you do this, you will be that.” The child sat there, slightly bewildered, for it was being taught to identify themselves through the lectures of this particular teacher. Just an hour before, another teacher was teaching the child to be this and to be that, so that people would see them this way and that way. Finally, at the end of the day, in their last class, the guru said, “Tread softly when others tell you to be this or to be that.” It’s OK to listen, hopefully, they have your best interest in mind, but you must seek to identify your being (self) beyond the conditioning and the programming of your culture, your society and those who have yet to find their true self.
A meditation: Give this a try, here and there, when it comes to your mind, or not, when you’re identifying yourself, take a moment and observe whether your definition is the result of conditioning, programming, societal norms, etc. or if your identification is coming from a place of love, peace and joy. A place of presence, which neither holds nor seeks any judgment, prejudice or identification, created by the ego. An awareness of whether you speak from ego or from the conscious presence of your being, which exists beyond word, thought and form.
It’s a new day. ••
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