Ego Death Meditation

Art by: Alex Grey

Art by: Alex Grey

“Practice dying means living as close to reality as we can in each moment. It is the ultimate bravery… the reality of the most mundane, day-to-day situations: arguing with your mate; when you get sick; when you are in a meeting at work; when you confront again, for the hundredth time, the same issue with your parent, child, or friend. Every day you are given an embarrassingly rich array of opportunities to die to your resistance to what is so about yourself, your life, and those you share it with.” – Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser included this quote and the following meditation in her book “Meditation for Practicing Dying.” It is designed to help you get to the root of the issue, where ego tends to cloud our judgments and inspire emotions that we may not fully understand. This is a great way to draw focus to your inner pain. It allows you to visualize and feel, and release the tensions that are a product of self. The barriers only exist within our minds, and our minds are a concept of self, too. Ego brings forth the drives of the reptilian brain, the instinct of self-preservation, the need to define the barriers of self in order to ensure our survival; but we must continue to rise above our basic, animal instincts. We have the power to change ourselves. We can choose to evolve.

“Bring your awareness to focus on something in your life that is changing or ending or dying right now. Breathe gently as you consider whatever transition is most significant right now in your life. Note any feelings that arise–trepidation, excitement, resistance, anger, annoyance, or grief. Every time your feelings get the better of you, become aware of your breathing. Meet your troubled and contracted feelings with your calm and expansive breath. Breathe, sigh, and stretch out on the river of change. Remember times when you have resisted change in the past. Regard how things turned out in the end- maybe not how you thought they would or you wanted them to, but in the end, there you were. Wiser, stronger, still alive. Tip your hat to the poignancy of death and the promise of rebirth. Smile. Relax. Allow yourself to break open. Sit tall, with dignity and patience, watching your breath rise and fall, rise and fall. Pray for the courage to welcome this new change with openness and wisdom.”

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