Holiday Season and the Sense of Self

The ups and downs of the holiday season.

 

From deciding what gifts to buy and then actually going out into the crowds to purchase the gifts (if that’s something you do), and preparing for gatherings of family and friends to the actual enjoying of this time of year, the holiday season can be a challenging time to navigate.

In the lead up to Christmas, whether this is something you celebrate or not, there is often a tendency to get caught up in all the craziness. When this happens, it’s like our sense of self has become the craziness. There is no separation between our sense of self and the craziness. Our sense of self is crazy. From a broader perspective, this is no different to an emotional reaction in our everyday lives at anytime of the year. In an emotional reaction, our sense of self becomes enmeshed with the emotion. We are the emotion!

So, what can we do?

 

If we can be mindful, with some awareness of the stillness in the background of our experience, then we can begin to separate our sense of self from the craziness and the emotion and realize that we are not the craziness or the emotion. These are temporary states that take over.

This stillness I refer to is something that resided in the background of all experiences, and is completely independent of them. By this I mean that it is untouched and uncorrupted. We lose connection to this sense of inner stillness and calm, because we forget to look for it. We are very adaptable beings. We get very good at doing what we do a lot of. Most people are good at the emotional thing, but not so many people are good at the stillness thing. How do you become good at something? You practice!

Once you practice stillness and are more familiar with it, you are then able to ask a far deeper question… What is the sense of self beyond the turbulence of emotions and stress?… Not a question that can be answered with the mind, but instead is revealed when we let go of it, as summed up in the following quotes:

 

“You need not aspire for or get any new state. Get rid of your present thoughts, that is all.” – Ramana Maharshi

“Retire to the center of your being, which is calmness.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

“A fool is ‘happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason.” – Dan Millman – Way of the Peaceful Warrior

 

Curious?… Want to know more?… Give yourself the gift of inner peace. Refer to my events page to see upcoming meditation offerings.

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