Friday, October 17, 2008

Freeing yourself from your story

When you’ve caught a glimpse of who you really are, beyond your mind (and even your body), you can keep reconnecting with this deeper level of being in your meditations — and in your everyday life as well. To resurrect the metaphor of the lake, you can dive down to the bottom again and again because you know what it looks like and how to find it. Even though your story may continue to play on the video screen of your brain, you can develop the capacity to disengage from it — or even disidentify from it entirely. As a friend of mine put it, you come to realize that the personality is a case of mistaken identity — and that who you are is the vast expanse of being itself, in which your personal thoughts and feelings arise and pass away. Such a profound realization may take years of meditation to achieve, yet it’s always available to you, no matter how long you’ve meditated — indeed, whether you’ve ever meditated at all! Many people report laughing uproariously when they finally see that their true nature was right there all along, as plain as the proverbial nose on their face.
Contrary to popular belief, people who learn to integrate this realization and live their understanding in a moment-to-moment way don’t become more detached and disengaged from life. Rather, because their story and their sense of separation have lifted like a fog, they actually perceive situations and people with more immediacy and compassion, and they’re able to act more appropriately, according to circumstances.

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