It is an extraordinary relief to encounter the perfection of ordinary self in a world that is screaming loudly, “There is something better out there! There is something you might be missing! There are standards you need to meet! There is something more you need to prove!” As we remember our inherent goodness, we cease to have an appetite or artificial need to participate in the outer focus, the conditioning that is telling us that what we have and who we are simply ARE not enough. Embracing our essence ends the charade of the conditioned mind, and all that is left is acknowledgement of the preciousness of our unique expression of life and all forms of life. We finally relax, aware that there is nothing to do and nowhere to get to that is worth more than being who and where we already are.
Ordinary does not mean “not special.” It means inherently special just as we are – where we are smooth and where we are cracked. The ordinary self has no self-consciousness, no pretense, and no need to be seen as “special” for it perceives no lack and does not live in the realm of comparison. It can also be called “no self” because it points to the quality of presence we emanate when we allow ourselves to be free of identity and surrender to the spaciousness of awareness.
Real practice begins when self-improvement ends. Practice supports us to stop trying to fix ourselves and open our eyes to see clearly. We see our conditioning and we see our inherent goodness. We see ourselves as part of the whole rather than separate. We see the perfection of the unique signature that we carry. Our essence does not call out loudly to be seen, but instead gently reveals itself to us. Shadow can be a welcome part of that revelation. When we find our essence, we find a humility at the same time that we shine as brightly as we ever have. There is a sense of shining for the benefit of the whole.
We cannot go out and find our essence forcefully. We would not know where to look. Instead, the more we practice stepping back from separate self and relax into presence, the more true nature reveals itself to us.
I invite you to reflect, with curiosity and without any judgment…
- What are some of the masks you wear that have been revealed to you through meditation practice?
- In what ways do you strive and effort to maintain identity, self-improve, or be seen as “special?”
- What essential qualities do you experience in YOURSELF when you settle into presence? When you spend time “just being?” What qualities do others tend to experience in you when you are simply present?