Buddhist teaching challenges me to try and find a me. Am I the me from yesterday or the one I am now or the one I may be tomorrow?
It says you can’t pin down a ‘me’ because we’re always changing. Nevertheless I’m very attached to this idea of a ‘me’ and I spend a lot of time trying to get life organised in such a way that this ‘me’ is happy.
Which brings me to my little riff on Descartes famous aphorism ‘I think therefore I am’. I was walking along somewhere this week and it occurred to me that I define myself and my sense of well-being by all the things I cling to. I’m a teacher, I’m a property owner, I’m a lover, a father. I have reasonably good dress sense, I have friends, I work out at the gym and eat healthy food so I have health….
And this is all fine up until a point …..
Are any of these things I cling to, define myself by permanent? Are they mine? Do any of them have an enduring capacity? No. And if the answer is no then I’d better come to terms with that and learn to hold everything I cling to more lightly …. in fact it’s best when I cease clinging and accept that things I enjoy are things that at best I get to caretake for a finite, unknowable period …….
The meditations we do help us recognise the insatiable habit of the mind to secure ourselves by grabbing onto the stuff we like and shoving away the stuff we don’t. And it helps us to see this in a really kind way ….. never blaming ourselves or beating ourselves up but just watching as a loving parent would watch the games of their young child and then giving gentle guidance and instruction.
Meditation this week:
Tuesday 6 – 7.30 pm
Sunday 8 – 9 am