Let go of ‘me’
As this inner listening arises from the stillness and concentration, we can begin to see our lives not only as our own individual experiences but as part of a much bigger process: a beautiful, magnificent, intelligent process that is, in its essence, completely impersonal.
What does this mean? It means that nothing that happens is personal. Nothing. When we think “How can this happen to me,” it’s not about a “me” that things happen to. It is just LIFE HAPPENING. Life happens. It is the very nature of Life to express and expand and dance in countless ways and forms. And we are simply one of those forms: a beautifully complex and conscious one! Our lives and all the experiences in them are simply Life doing what Life does through the forms of us.
As a mind-based idea, this can be terrifying. It is the nature the egoic mind to create a persona (literally translated: “mask”), which gains momentum and the illusion of self-importance through thought-based identity. It is our minds that devise who we THINK ourselves to be. Life happens, and our minds make up amazing stories about it all, including judgments, emotions, memories and projections. And our attention gets stuck in the stories. To then suggest that all the stories, judgments, and emotions are not personal can be a huge shock to the ego-mind, whose whole purpose is to create and defend a mental projection of a “me” that we think we are. The very hardest part of this is letting go of the idea that we are somebody or that we need to be somebody. That all of our memories and relationships and ideas and things we have gathered in our lives are NOT who we are, nor do they need to make us who we are or who we feel we need to be.
When the mask of persona is lovingly set aside, there arises the opportunity for our attention to rest in a space which is SO much more than the mind-based self that we think ourselves to be. In a beautifully paradoxical way, the ‘me’ that we THINK we are is not personal or special. However, the “ME” that is the beyond the egoic mind’s stories, the “ME” that knows itself as the consciousness which illumines our thoughts, bodies, and every experience COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE MORE SPECIAL!
The true source of light
A nice analogy for this is the light that shines through a prism and creates a rainbow on the wall. We see the rainbow and marvel at its beauty. In order to see the rainbow more clearly, we may try to clean the wall it is projected upon, or even polish the prism to get the dust off. These techniques can seem to work for a while, but the real wisdom and radiant energy comes from the sun, which shines through the prism, extracting the colours which are projected on the wall. The entire rainbow and more is all contained within the brilliant sun. And yet, still we focus on the wall upon which the rainbow shines, identifying with wall, the rainbow, and the prism instead of the true source of the Light itself.
When we look past the material world (the wall), the rainbow (the persona and entire story of our lives), and the prism (our thinking minds), we can clearly see that it is the sun which illumines the entire picture and makes all of it and the KNOWING of all of it possible.
To know ourselves as this Light of Consciousness which illumines the entire Dance of Life and our experience of it, to KNOW this brings freedom from the tremendous effort of upholding a persona and having to “do” things for personal gain. We can continue playing our parts in life as consciously as possible, according to our responsibilities (family, etc), of course, but we do so as a beautiful vehicle through which Life expresses itself, knowing each and every experience not only as part a personal journey, but as a form in the fractilian dance of the One Consciousness which illumines all.
Where is my attention?
THIS is the essence of true inner peace. And it is right here now. The paradox is that is it the simplest, most obtainable thing ever because it is always right here, and yet it feels so complex and often unreachable when our attention is entangled in all the noise.
In this time of so many distractions (most of them within our own minds) taking our attention away from the present moment and sabotaging our own inner peace and well-being, it is imperative that we stay alert and aware! Constantly asking ourselves, “where is my attention?” and lovingly and gently reminding each other of who we are beyond the internal and external noise is crucial at this time in world. It takes dedication and practise, and it is the true work of a yogi to rest in the ocean of consciousness in the midst of all the noise, and to then even see the noise as consciousness itself.
Keep practising yoga, keep cultivating mouna, concentration and inner listening, and begin to see yourself as a vast and playful expression of consciousness.
It is possible. And it is right here now.
Experience life’s sweetness through Yoga Nidra with Tracey Uber Cook
EkhartYoga members can try this Yoga Nidra practice which allows the body and thinking mind to relax while resting in the aware presence that allows all experience to be possible.