Friday, November 13, 2009

Dropping the "me"

Aug 06 2009

Before self inquiry, any time I suffered, it was someone else's fault. After self inquiry, I saw how no one else was responsible for me. I create my "heaven" and "hell". I could then drop many many many stories, labels and be free from suffering. The bigger ones (like people should behave a certain way, I should be treated a certain way, I should have all these things to make me happy, etc. ) are easier to drop, but the ones that are closer to heart and an ingrained part of our conditioning (subtle) are harder to drop.

Over the past couple of months, I have been going through loads of highs and lows. None of them last long, but they were getting thrown my way left, right and center. Although in my heart I knew it was important, I was really getting tired of this. Over the two months I have had many openings and realizations. But after every opening, the longing, uneasiness in my heart just came right back. It was like my bhakti was not going to let me rest in my opening and enjoy the high that came with it. I was getting frustrated, because I know and have experienced how the mind keeps all the suffering in place, and yet when in a low, I was completely pulled in. No self inquiry helped.

Here is how I saw it:

Awareness <-------------> Me (mind/body)
      |                    |
      |                    |
      V                    V
(stillness)             (highs/lows)

Things happen and when I am closer to awareness (stillness) I can let it all go.. I know its not happening to me.. it just is. When I am tired, or going thru purification, and the exact same thing happens, I now believe this is all happening to "Me". The beauty is while in awareness and when stuff happens, I can let the attachment to things go.. this becomes a habit, so when in the middle of "identifying with me".. the natural habit of identifying with me now drops faster. Hence the suffering of 3 years can be 3 min now. However, when identified with the "Me", self inquiry did not seem to help at all.

Whenever there is a true letting go, the situation will not cause any reaction, doesn't matter if we are identified with awareness or with our body/mind. If something can cause us any kind of flutter even for a second, we have not let it go completely. But I could not see how to let go the things that were causing me these flutters. That is when I realized, there was more to this than just the mind level self inquiry I was doing. There was healing and letting go needed at levels beyond the mind.

Anyways, three days back I was blessed with a huge opening without the usual "high", just stillness.. access to complete stillness and expansion. I have also had something major revealed to me. I could actually bring up and feel the emotions that accompanied many of the attachments I have not been able to separate myself from. It came to me to bring up the stories and let them go into the stillness I was experiencing. Like samyama. So I did. I brought one up, "my children may not love me in the future", and let it go in stillness. "My mom-in-law may come live with us", let it go, "I may be able to write, but I cannot teach in public, I may make a fool of myself in front of people", let it go, and a few others. As I continued with this, I saw the common thread in all of this... "fear". I saw how everything, everything that was bothering me and that I could not let go had the common emotion "fear" driving it.
So I began to do samyama on the situation, dropped it into silence, then "fear" and dropped it into silence (bringing up the situation brings fear to the heart, so along with the word, I dropped the emotion) and then the "I" and dropped it into silence. I could not see how the "I" fit into this, but since it was "I" feeling this emotion due to the situation, I just went with it.

Soon the situations dissolved and only the emotion of fear remained. I remember someone once telling me or reading somewhere, "you can let go one situation at a time, or you can let it all go at one time. The first way will take forever, but the second will work in an instant". I was clueless as to how I can drop it all at once. There are so many things that make me sad or upset or scared. So I have been going with one thing at a time. Flutter.. hmmmm look into it.. ahh.. identify the story.. OK now drop it.. For the first time, after I saw the common emotion in every situation was "fear". I got how I can let it all go at one time by identifying the one common thread that keeps the string of suffering together.

So I continued samyama on the energy of "fear" and "I". Other than doing a sitting practice of this, outside my meditation time, I started doing this all through the day any time I felt a flutter in me. I looked into what caused the flutter, looked for the underlying emotion, it was always fear, fear of not being perfect, of being judged. So I picked up "fear" and dropped it in silence, then the word "I" and dropped it in silence. I still could not see how the "I" fit into this.

Then yesterday, while doing this practice, I suddenly saw..

"Who is this fear happening to?", "Me".

Who is this me? The container of this energy.

What me? A mother/friend/daughter-in-law.

    |                                     |           |
    |                                     |           |
    |                                     |           |
    v                                     v           v
The situation (not a good mother) -----> fear-----> "Me"

So the mother (label), the fear (emotion) and Me (the container), were three components that kept the "I" in place. No wonder I could never really completely let go. Now when the final component of "me" is dropped the "I" dissolves. I am still working on it. But it seems big and so I thought I'd share it here. Maybe it will help someone else who is having a tough time with "who am I" kind of inquiry.

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