Emotional identification

The error of grandiosity

We all get our feelings hurt. We are not always treated with the respect we would prefer by someone in our life, or, depending on our level of grandiosity, by life itself. It's a common experience, and actually, a reassuring reminder that we are still alive and human.

The problem arises when we regard hurt feelings as something to be resolved, something to be guarded against, or a cause for retaliation. So-and-so disrespected me. What does this say about me? Should I engage further with that person until I wrest satisfaction from them emotionally? Should I take my interpretation of their current regard for me as gospel, or should I recognize my own past propensity for emotional distortion?

Our "filters" are not always clean. We all carry stress and emotional baggage that colors our perceptive abilities. This person who so offended us is battling their own demon, or could just be having a bad day. Either way, it serves no good purpose to react out of fear and ratchet up the level of tension. We in the meditation community have tools that non-meditators may not have access to.

We acknowledge that we are all imperfectly perfect, that God dwells in each of us, and that it behooves us to carry an extra large ration of human forgiveness for ourselves and others. This is called "adaptation energy," and we get it from a diligent meditation practice.

We go to a place where, for twenty minutes, twice a day, we lose our wave identification and become ocean again. From this vantage point, we can see the counter-productive error of being a wave in conflict with other waves, and we can relax, knowing we can contribute to others' sense of well-being from the point of view of the oceanic "Self."

Reasons not to learn meditation

The ego has no problem coming up with entries on this laundry list. We all know seekers who get caught in this loop. Hopefully, they find their way out eventually. We, as meditators or as teachers, can only wait patiently for them, remembering our own difficult path before we finally pursued our practice.

Succulent in a Venice rock garden

Succulent in a Venice rock garden