What does it take to discover true self? How awake are you to the real you?
We all know the feeling of being totally out of sync, at an utter loss as to who we really are. In the modern world, we unfortunately spend the bulk of our time in just such a state, rushed and removed from real self, and buried beneath the rubble of roles past and present -- and of roles we wish we had. Due to these distractions, we get lazy and scared. We come to exist as primitive, robotic, and superficial shells, blind to the naturalness of true self.
Growing up, I thought of myself as a misfit, and was forever uncomfortable with letting myself be revealed, especially to me. I was too brainy, too unrefined, too out there, too young, too something or, conversely, not something enough. You know the drill. It has taken me many turbulent years to get over not being someone else, to accept what makes me who I am, and to commit to living from -- and when inspired, celebrating -- my whole self. What about you?
I'm not saying I've got this one figured out. Far from it! Yet, when I am jagged and out of tune, I know to pick some special flowers, the ones that speak most candidly and vividly. Why? Answer: Flowers are superlatively and naturally themselves -- this is their fundamental job -- and they are great at reminding me that this is my job, too.
I put the flowers in a small glass jar, set the jar on my altar, and sit in front of them for a long time. I absorb the distinct colors, the feel, and open spirit of the flowers. I watch them at first blush, then stay there and continue to absorb their miraculous unfolding. Eventually, after I've rooted way down, I begin to turn this same sincere attention, this same clarity of vision, onto my tender, unbothered self.
Flower meditation has become my gateway to patiently unveiling and receiving my essential nature, the pith of who I really am. The wonderful Suzuki Roshi says, "For a plant or a stone to be natural is no problem. But for us there is some problem, indeed a big problem. To be natural is something we must work on." Locating the natural self indeed requires work, and seated meditation is one remarkable gateway in. Is it yours?
What's integral is your presence and unwavering commitment, because the dislocated, numbing alternative is bleaker than bleak. The beauty is that once we touch true self, we learn to think, act, speak, create, choose, breathe, sleep, and eat from this place of authenticity. We become seamless, radiant expressions of self, and are freed to grow into who we are organically meant to be.
From here -- and I am not kidding around -- the sky is the limit. Buddha said, "If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." Why wait to tap into and express your true self? The treasure after all, that single flower, is the natural you.
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