Making It Personal. “Who Am I?” Done Right.

Dissolving and becoming absorbed into the flower.

Dissolving and becoming absorbed into the flower.


April 23, 2016 3:49 PM

Just before I “woke up,” I was sitting in my camp chair on Mt. Hood, practicing what I would later learn was called samyama. I would look at a flower, and try to become one with it. I would sit there, staring at it intently while actively trying to dissolve the perceived boundaries between the flower and myself. I would try to dissolve myself (me-me-me-me-ME!) and become absorbed into the flower.

While I could kind of get a taste of the feeling of Oneness, I wasn’t getting it in the sense I could say, “I got it!” Still, I could feel the “me” softening. In that same week, while sitting on a rock overlooking a brook, I challenged a frog to a meditation contest—and lost. This pissed me off like you wouldn’t believe, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. How could a stupid frog be better at mediation that me(-me-me-me-ME)!

Soon after that, I “woke up” and the boundaries between “me” and “other” collapsed over the next three weeks.

What was the key difference between the frog practice and the flower (samyama) practice? What caused the collapse of the ego boundaries? It’s really quite simple: The damn frog made it personal.

Unlike the flower (an object in the World-Part of my brain), I (me-me-me-me-ME!) challenged the frog to a contest of wills—a contest between his pitiful amphibian brain and my awesome, homo sapien (me-me-me-me-ME!) intellect. How could I possibly lose? In challenging my Frog Master—in making it personal—I was activating the Me-Part of my brain.

Flower? World-Part. Frog Master? Me-Part.

Therein lies the key to awakening: Make it personal.

Isn’t that ironic? To become trans-personal, you have to make it all about you. You have to make it personal.

So yesterday, in order to come up with a technique that I could share—a technique to activate the Me-Part of the brain—I sat on the ground and stared at the flower in the photo above. But I had a dilemma: My everyday method for accessing oneness/samyama is to simply “expand and open” and that’s no help anyone. To me, accessing oneness is a piece of cake, but it wasn’t always that way—in fact, prior to waking up it was practically impossible.

So I sat and looked at the flower and asked myself, “What do I still take personally?”

And ideas—memories of what I still take personally—entered my brain and activated the Me-Part…

“I still don’t like it when my message is dismissed by those damn fundamental nondualists.” And I got in touch with the FEELING of (me-me-me-me-ME!) being dismissed and I pulled the idea out of my brain and dropped it to the ground and re-focused on the flower (what you focus on you become) and the flower and I became… closer.

“I don’t like it when I find someone in a campsite that I had my eye on.” And I got in touch with that disappointment, in my desire for things to go my (me-me-me-me-ME!) way, and I FELT it and I pulled it away and I dropped it and I felt… one-er with the flower.

And I looked at the me-thing (me-me-me-me-ME!) and I FELT it—I felt its contraction—and I pulled it away (I expanded and opened) and the flower and I were One.

What do you still take personally? Do you take your past personally? Do you take your opinions personally? Do you take your social roles or your physical body or your relationships or your name or your thoughts personally?

Sit down. Look at an object—a flower for example. Then get in touch with something you take personally (just one thing at a time). Get in touch with the FEEL of it. Not just the thought, but the feel of that personal thing. Make it into a statement, just like I did above, then FEEL how solid you become. Notice how the statement makes you contract and harden and close down. Really feel this thing you take personally.

Then recognize it as “not me” (Who/What am I? If I can see it, it can’t be me) and pull it away and drop it… and look at your “flower” and see if you don’t feel closer to it.

Wear yourself down. Do this over and over and over… and then over again, and soon you’ll be able to do what I do: You’ll notice and feel the me-contraction… and then you’ll simply “open and expand” and become One with the Everything.

Practice, practice, practice.

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8 thoughts on “Making It Personal. “Who Am I?” Done Right.

  1. I remember when, the first time in a deep insight meditation when I felt my body melt and I became one with everything. When I came out of it, I grasped to try to hold onto that feeling. It was me grabbing, not the “not me” accepting the experience for what it was. I now experience oneness by letting go of me on the inhale and exhaling with love in my heart.

  2. Wow. Maybe it’s just me but this and your last post take your teaching to a whole new level. The links that string together your experience in the three weeks after the Frog Master are particularly helpful. And the technique in this post sounds more practical than anything I have ever read. I am heading to the back yard to find a dandelion. I can’t wait to see the finished book.

  3. With love and gratitude, thank you for sharing you.

    To quote Miguel Ruiz (who’s latest book, “The Toltec Art of Life and Death,” moved me deeply): “I am with you.”

  4. This is very interesting, thank you for sharing. I can’t help but notice that this technique is very similar to the first 5 min of the video I link below, but in her case, she recognized that feeling AS her, where you recognize it an NOT you.

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