This is a follow up discussion of my previous blog entry, “Sunday Meditation: The True Self” with Deng Ming-Dao. https://andelieya.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/sunday-meditation-the-true-self/
Deng Ming-Dao is an artist, writer and the author of eight books, with a ninth one, The Lunar Tao slated to be published in January 2013. In the discussion that follows, Deng Ming-Dao offers additional insight into the topic of my original blog post.
Sometimes someone else has packed our bags.
Sometimes, we’re afraid to open our bags, or are horrified when we do.
Sometimes we continue to lug the bag, even though we know it’s wrong, because we’re fearful of the alternative.
Sometimes we’re afraid that if we were to upend our bag and clean everything out that we would disappear.
It’s not easy for people to clean out their baggage.
andelieya: We can learn to periodically set the bag down. Once we experience the relief of the weight falling away, we may see the benefit in doing this more regularly and more often.
We may find to have a lot more endurance and be able to go much farther with regular breaks, than if we continually toted the bag without ever putting it down.
After a while, it occurs to us that we can also make the bag lighter and our walk easier if we just emptied some of its content out permanently. We come to the realization that it’s wise to carry along just enough, and everything extra is unneeded and unwanted.
By regularly and often putting our bags down, we can experience refreshing breaks of weightless moments. But while we must still carry our bags, by gradually emptying out all unneeded and unwanted content, they will be a lot lighter. Our endurance increases, and we can walk a lot further and higher without tiring.
DMD: So many of us were told never to put or bags down. Travel in airports with the amplified admonishments not to leave our bags unattended represents an underlying anxiety in our culture. Lock your house. Lock your car. Hold onto your wallet. Hold onto your kids. We aren’t used to putting down our bags.
Hold onto our reputation. Hold onto your job. Hold onto your marriage. Hold onto your sanity.
“She’s letting herself go!” “He’s losing it!” “Don’t let go!” The resistance to putting down our bag is high.
Yes, the classical teaching is to put down or bags. But let’s acknowledge that the task is hard and that all of us who are traveling with our burdens must have compassion extended to us for our burdens.
andelieya: It is so true! The examples you brought up really demonstrate the societal conditioning of our mind in thinking that we must never let go of anything, otherwise something catastrophic will happen.
Although, it seems as easy as just putting them down, letting go of our bags is the most daunting task we are faced with in life. The tendency to cling and not wanting to render full control is in the nature of an unchecked ego. Actually, it is paradoxical, because the ego only thinks it is in full control, but never really is to begin with.
Meditation is one way through which we can dampen the loud calls and many voices of the ego and, instead, listen to the silent, peaceful depth and breadth of our souls. (I intentionally use depth and breadth in singular form here, because this depth and breadth is the Oneness that all souls share.)
Through meditation we can learn to empty our bags of nonessential weight and to periodically put our bags down completely for brief, refreshing moments where we can see clearly the nature of ourselves and of all that is around us. We may even progress far enough to be able to put down our bags at anytime, anywhere.
Those of us who are lucky enough may come across a qualified teacher who will show us the method and guide us in finding our true selves.
Deng Ming-Dao, thank you for sharing your wisdom with me and my readers!