Dropping The I

This is a practice of removing the “I” to appreciate that we’re more than the sum of thoughts, feelings and impulses. When the thought arises “I am no good”, we reframe it as “the thought that I am no good is here”. Or when the emotion of sadness arises, we say “the emotion of sadness is here” instead of “I am sad”. If we are resisting to do something, we acknowledge the feeling and say “the impulse to resist is here”. Notice how that feels once you disengage and appreciate that thoughts are just thoughts, feelings are merely that, nothing more. Once we see that, we create more space between ourselves and thoughts etc to respond more helpfully to distress. Distress is just that, not us. Liberation is essentially what this practice is about.

The poetry below is inspired by the Adittapariyaya Sutta: The Fire Sermon, and writings by Dogen Zenji, founder of first Soto Zen monastery, Daihonzan Eiheiji.

liberation, by the Guide

body merely a vessel

through birth, decay, death

consciousness merely a non thing, formless

that fires love, lust, hate

grief, despair, pain

there it is, to burn the delusions

see the vastness of the heart

that fills the universe

depth of the minds

of a thousand monks

seeking the way

not knowing

not clinging

dropping the I

arriving at no return

there it is, there it is


Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Yusuf Evli, Unsplash

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