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The Sun

Not self presents us with a dilemma. Before you start on the Buddhist path, you likely never thought of yourself as being anyone but who you are.

Then these pesky Buddhist teachers start to tell you that your self is a misrecognition, and one that does more harm than good in the bargain. As your meditation practice develops, you begin to notice the luminous emptiness of infinite consciousness, which is appealingly vast, beautiful, and peaceful.

So what do you do with your sense of self? Ajahn Sumedho says we should die before we die. What he means is that we can allow our daily, limited self that we start out with to die before our physical bodies expire.

But how? Anyone who is at all creative can think up lots of ways to end a physical life, but do not advocate that type of suicide. You know you will die someday, but let it happen when it happens. Do not rush your physical death.

What you can do with your sense of self is let it melt.

Not that you are the wicked witch of the west. At least, I doubt you are.

But consciousness, once you start to notice and appreciate it, is enormously powerful. Put you puny sense of self up against it, and your self will melt pretty quickly.

Then you can get in touch with your inner Glenda, the good witch.

You’ll be much happier, now and in the future, without that useless sense of self hanging around, causing trouble.

So keep meditating, and watch out for Glenda, the Good Witch

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Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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