To Self Or Not To Self -- The Meditative Question

It is actually possible to enjoy life even when things aren't going your way. But, this appreciation depends on whether or not you have a healthy sense of not self. A healthy not self depends upon a realization that suffering is entirely impersonal and beyond control, not your fault and not anyone else's fault either. Since we don't generally believe that to be the case each of us begins meditating as a personal project to end "my" suffering. The thing the flummoxes us is that there is no meditative fix for what ails "me." Meditation, paradoxically, reveals how much the "me" suffers and the very many things over which it suffers. The enterprise can be very much like whack-a-mole, one thing right after another and the only thing for "me" to do about it is to just quietly sit and helplessly watch. One of my favorite stories is the Parable of the Mustard Seed. A young woman suffering inconsolable grief over the loss of her infant is told the Buddha can help her. She goes to see him and he asks for payment. He tells her he can only help her when she brings him a mustard seed from a house that has not known suffering. She embarks upon a fruitless search for a deliverance that isn't there and this becomes her meditation. She goes from house to house and hears the same story over and over again. She finally returns to the Buddha not needing his help because she has helped herself by seeing that her grief is not hers alone but a universal experience. Her quest for an escap...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
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