"Learn how to be comfortable with aloneness without defining it as loneliness, and realize that while your incarnation, your ego, is a socially derived construct, your soul is not. Your meditation practice is done in order to bring you back into your soul identity, where you can recognize that we are all alone, but you’re only lonely if you’re caught down in your ego."
Learning how to be comfortable with aloneness and feelings of loneliness are lifetime practices for me. The challenge of learning how to be comfortable with aloneness is one of the many reasons why I show up to meditate twice a day. I know that when I sit in meditation I cultivate my ability to become more comfortable with what makes me feel uncomfortable. And, it makes sense that I would have these ego experiences throughout my day – "getting caught down in my ego" - after all I live simultaneously on two dimensions – the ego dimension and the spiritual dimension.
God knows that I have experienced, still experience and will continue to experience some excruciating ego driven uncomfortable moments of feeling alone in a crowd and feeling lonely. Just this past week I went down these halls and experienced feeling alone in an oral surgeon’s office, in my own home, on a crowded zoom call, watching the news, visiting Instagram, around a dinner table, during conversations where people are sharing their opinions about politics, civil rights, law and order, the voting process, the economy and/or COVID. And, in these moments, depending upon my ability to stay awake and aware, I both lost it and went down some rabbit hole feeling lonely or I used my precious tool, my meditation practice and came back to my soul identity.
My meditation practice helps me cultivate my ability to just witness. I train to be present for whatever is arising on the cushion and off the cushion. When I leave the cushion the benefits serve me mysteriously and miraculously by flowing into my day. The time I spent earlier in the morning (and later in my afternoon) seems to spill over into my experiences ~ suddenly I notice what or how I AM feeling, I notice how I am starting to label something as terrible, scaring myself, judging harshly, closing off my heart. My meditation practice, the "Witness" nudges me silently to use this experience as the "object of my attention" just come back to what is unfolding in this moment…live
this moment AND just as it is. “Witness and Accept” as my teacher davidji teaches. Just show up, (stay awake), witness and accept this moment, drop the judgment, drop the storyline. Come back to this moment. Establish yourself in Yoga. Union. Oneness.
I AM eternally grateful to my teacher, davidji, for teaching me how to meditate because I have a tool to help me with awareness. I AM also grateful for Ram Dass and this teaching as it led to my a/HA moment - (davidji teaches that an "a/HA" moment happens when the message/messenger/timing align! Today, as I reflect upon my week, this teaching somehow makes more sense to me. It's deep. I know. I see what happened all week. This teaching reminds me that I AM "only lonely if you’re caught down in your ego." And, I can use my meditation practice in every moment, not just on the cushion, but off too, to bring me back to my soul identity. Ok... thank you - next step... live the teachings.
Sending you peace and love from Long Island ~ namaste.