If you’re stuck in the machine of conditioning, without realizing it, you’re constantly thinking about what you need, what you want, and what you should or shouldn’t be feeling.
The “I” that you define yourself as is the reference point for everything, and all your thoughts are about your personal agenda.
- Am I okay?
- Am I getting what I need?
- Am I doing the right thing?
- Am I safe?
- I want more.
- I think he shouldn’t have said that.
- In my opinion, she should be doing it differently.
- It’s her
fault, not mine.
Not only is this inner self-talk exhausting, it creates an agitated, unhappy mind.
If you identify with the contents of that mind and it becomes the sole focus of your attention, you will undoubtedly feel agitated and unhappy. Instead of engaging with a mind filled to the brim with
personal thoughts of fear and dissatisfaction, consider the radical proposition of being empty.
What if you were to empty out these personal thoughts? How? Take them in a big heap and put them aside because they’re not serving.
And here you are, pure and pristine. A mind infinitely open like the
sky. Breath breathing itself. You might think you need a personal self with all of its preferences and opinions. But here’s the truth: you don’t.
Life goes along just fine whether or not the mind is chattering. And when you’re empty of the personal self, your experience will be so much more peaceful.
But don’t take my word for it. Find out in your own experience. Next time you’re lost in suffering, realize how much your attention is supporting the story of me…me…me. Subtract the “me” and all that goes with it, and you’re one with the seamless flow of life.
Try this experiment:
Become very familiar with the story of the separate self and how it wends its way into your mind and body. Then empty it out. Pour out the personal needs and strategies that aren’t serving. Throw away the needless opinions, demands, and expectations. Then experience yourself as fully here and available to life’s unfolding.