what you are not.

by bkajlich

I am exhausted.  It has been an emotional past couple days combined with travel, and I am glad to be home. My sit today is a little different, as I am posting about it before I do it. Calm down, this is my blog and I get to make up the rules. Sometimes, I meditate myself to sleep… and tonight that is exactly what I will do. As I have explained before, meditation is all about embracing what exists in the moment, and in this moment I know I am going to fall asleep in the middle of my sit.  So might as well go with the flow, get ready for bed and embrace the inevitable! If you’d like to try it sometime, it’s the same as how I explain in the “nuts and bolts” section, only get into bed, lay on your back, and make sure none of your limbs are touching or crossed.  Then just breathe and let go!  Speaking of letting go….

I just remembered a conversation I had with my meditation teacher about finding your authentic self.  It seems like a lot of people are on that journey these days and get confused about what it really means.  As I rounded the corner upon a pretty big aha moment one afternoon, she smiled at me and asked if now I understood. “Understand what??” I replied.  To which she gave me the look she usually gives me when she knows that I know the answer but am just being lazy…  so I took a minute and started to think about the last several months and the layers peeling off as we got down into the heart of things and then it hit me.  Getting to know me wasn’t about becoming something that I wasn’t yet, it was about finding what I already AM. It’s about letting go of all those things that aren’t you, and finding what has been there all along.  The truth.  The real you. The beauty and magic that has existed there since the day you were born that’s just been covered by all the different costumes and hats you’ve tried on along the way. All you have to do to let the extra stuff go is sit still, breathe, and honor YOU. Slowly but surely the authentic self will be revealed.

I came across this stanza from the T.S Eliot poem “East Coker” years ago, and loved it before I even really knew what it meant(which proves my point that the authentic self is always there, patiently waiting for you to wake the F up).

“You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.”

Mmmmmmmm, I love that. However, I would like to argue with Mr Eliot on one point.  Meditating myself to sleep hardly feels like a way in which there is no ecstasy…. nighty night! :p