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“A person always finds when he begins to practice meditation that all sorts of problems are brought out. Any hidden aspects of your personality are brought out into the open, for the simple reason that for the first time you are allowing yourself to see your state of mind as it is. – Chogyam Trungpa

Over the years we develop strong habits of perceiving the universe, and we come to be very secure within these habits.

We selectively perceive our environment in ways that reinforce them. This collection of habits is what we call ego. But meditation breaks the ego down. As we begin to see through it we can become confused as to what reality is. What once seemed absolute now begins to seem relative. When this happens, some people get confused; others fear they may be going insane.

You must expect that growth requires change.

A child’s structure of reality alters as his or her endocrine system starts to change in puberty, leading sometimes to confusion and emotional upset. So it is with meditation that as you grow into a more conscious being, your old realities crumble and there will be moments of disorientation. The best strategy for dealing with this disorientation is to note it and let it be. Don’t try to push it away and retreat into familiar habits. Most people need not fear this disruption. Although you may feel some anxiety, the ego’s defense mechanisms usually give way no faster than you can handle it. But if you find these reactions too disturbing you can cut back on the amount of meditation you do, or even stop altogether for a while. When you feel more calm and relaxed, ease back into meditation.

The path to freedom is through detachment from your old habits of ego.

Slowly you will arrive at a new and more profound integration of your experiences in a more evolved structure of the universe. That is, you will flow beyond the boundaries of your ego until ultimately you merge into the universe. At that point you have gone beyond ego. Until then you must break through old structures, develop broader structures, break through those, and develop still broader structures.

 

– Ram Dass

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