Repeated Being-ness

“Of all that is wonderful in the human being, our most glorious asset is this capacity to change ourselves. Nothing is more significant. I admire the achievements of science, but I do not feel intimidated by the current conviction that we are what our genes are. My body is what my genes make it, but my character and behavior are not fixed by my genetic code. As proof we have the lives of great men and women of all religions who have thrown these claims to the winds with their personal transformations - from angry to compassionate, from insecure to unshakable, from human to divine. The message of their lives echoes down the corridors of time to those who have ears to hear: “You are not what your body is. Your real nature is spirit, which nothing can diminish or deny.” Whatever our past, whatever our present, all of us have the capacity to change ourselves completely through the practice of meditation.”
~Eknath Eswaran from Conquest of Mind

These last few weeks, I’ve been fortunate to be working as an artist down here in Nantucket. And when I first arrived, the working constraints were tangible- resources were limited as well as time. In the thick of the process, I noticed old identities wanting to creep in as well as the desire to feel “special” or to be seen. Ram Dass refers to this, “the puny separateness” that causes us to keep proving we are something. We already are something, and the process of meditation helps us awaken to this every day. It helps us rise above egoic thinking and fearlessly step into the unknown.

What was remarkable about the early stages of our process was that I was able to have clear awareness of multiple storylines happening simultaneously; the awareness of small self, feeling vulnerable and wanting praise (ego), as well as the awareness of unlimited potential and everything unfolding for the highest good for all (universality). Having experienced that feeling of universality in my own practice and the remembrance of it in that moment is what allowed me to move from anger to compassion, and from insecurity to unshakable. Sometimes that process is challenging, no doubt, but I see the grit of those moments as opportunities to move from theory to mastery, something consistency of practice provides. There's no need to defend what is, only infinite ways to adapt.

Meditation is a practice, extending beyond mat or the walls of a fancy studio or a bedroom with beautiful incense. And every moment is an opportunity to up level. The Greeks have a word, areté which translates as “virtue” or “excellence,” but a deeper meaning translates to “expressing the highest version of yourself moment to moment to moment.”

With meditation, what we are experiencing is an awareness of an identity outside the thinking mind. The repetition of this helps to provides stability in what we’re identifying with in any given moment simply because we're not looking for it externally, that identity arises from within. We’re also training our minds to have choice between stimulus and response, to close the gap between who we are being and the highest version of ourselves that's available to us in any given moment.

James Clear tells us in Atomic Habits: “The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior. In fact, the word identity was originally derived from the Latin word essentitas, which means being, and identidem, which means repeatedly. Your identity is literally your ‘repeated beingness."

I love this, because it reinforces a very profound and simple concept, which is consciousness becomes what it sees. And what we're essentially practicing and becoming is repeated Being-ness.🙌🏻