Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Clinging to a separate self

The great meditative traditions teach that the root cause of suffering and stress, which gives rise to your stories, is the belief that you’re inherently separate — from others, from the rest of life, and from being itself. Because you feel separate and alone, you need to protect yourself and ensure your survival at all costs. But you have only limited power, and you’re surrounded by forces beyond your control. As long as you keep struggling to defend your turf, you’re going to keep suffering, no matter how hard you try. Meditation offers you the opportunity to relax your guard, open your awareness, and ultimately catch a glimpse of who you really are, beyond your stories and the illusion of a separate, isolated self.

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