Sunday, November 29, 2009

Find Your Self

I recently started meditating, counting my breath, sitting in a quiet room and trying not to think about anything. And you know something? It’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, you try it. Try sitting still, with your legs folded over each other, your eyes half-closed and unfocused, willing your mind to banish any outside thoughts from entering it. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

You probably discovered very quickly that thoughts, distractions and outside interferences overwhelm your ability to focus, to render your mind a blank slate, to meditate on nothing. And that’s okay, I warned you that it was challenging, maybe even impossible. But that’s not the point of why I meditate, why I sit in a room by myself and try to focus on nothing. I do so to find self. And I have discovered, through trial and error, research and reading, that to find self you have to first lose self.


“Huh?” is right. But it’s a good kind of huh, one that makes you think, makes you take note, makes you intrigued, I hope. Makes you want to read on. Or, better yet, watch:


I often talk about the TRIAD OF BALANCE, what I refer to as the continuous process of maintaining the harmonic balance between the mind, body, and spirit. I have found that when I have all three of these essentials working and in harmony with one another, then I am at my strongest and happiest, enjoying the most effective way of living my life to its fullest. If one of my big three is out of whack, but the other two are still strong, while I may feel a bit off and not my complete self, I can still do most of what I need to do…only not all of what I want to do to be all that I need to be. That is why finding that balance, working on the mind, body, and spirit all the time, is one of the main focuses in my life, this blog, and my video site.

So to strengthen my spiritual side, after working, of course, on my intellectual and physical areas, I decided I needed to lose self first…to find self later.

Okay, Mike, how does one lose self?

Glad you asked. Meditation is a good start. Let’s go back to trying to not allow any thoughts to invade your mind while you sit still with your eyes half-closed. Even though this is a difficult task, it is possible…if you focus on everything BUT your own thoughts while doing it.

Ummm, you lost me.

Got back to your quiet place, sit, focus, and try not to think. Only this time, if a thought tries to weasel its way into your mind, just gently push it aside. Then, while trying not to let YOUR thoughts back in, allow your mind the freedom to let everything else in.


Hold on, I’m getting there. Notice your surroundings. The sound of the clock on the wall, the wind rustling the leaves or tinkling your wind chimes. A car passing by. Your refrigerator rumbling into life. Everything else but YOUR thoughts. Make sense?

Kind of. But what’s the point?

The point is, by allowing the outside world in, while trying to eliminate your internal thoughts, you have, in a small way, lost your self. And this, in a larger sense, helps you find your self.

Finding self goes a long way toward finding your spirituality. And that helps balance your triad.

Hey, by the way, how did you maintain your triad of balance while you were on vacation last month?

Funny you should ask.


Until next time…




Theresa said...

I like your "blank slate" approach to meditation. Letting the outside in is a good awareness booster. Thanks for talking about this!

Barry said...

I've been practicing meditation for several months now and it has become part of my life.

Robin Easton said...

Dear Mike, I just love this!! And relate to it sooooo strongly. In my second book I am writing about this very thing, finding myself through losing myself. I just LOVE that.

This is SO huge that I would take up a full page commenting, but I do feel that living in the moment, letting go and being no more than right here right now is SO key. I also know doing the things I LOVE, things that when I do them I don't have one thought in my head, things where I forget myself while doing them and yet they make me see myself and life more clearly than ever.

I realize from my time in the wild that this whole losing ourselves to find ourselves goes so deep and in so many ways is at the core of us living rewarding live at peace with ourselves, others and the world. I am SO excited you are talking about this.

My experience has been that I only truly got to know myself after I completely surrendered and lost everything that I "thought" was me.

Some wonderful directions your are exploring here. Also love the triad video. SO glad you are talking more about that and ways to apply it to our lives.

Just dang good work Mike.
And you look so healthy!

Susan Blake said...

Hi Mike!
I loved this video and the way you explain you need to lose yourself first - then find yourself. I found in my own practice that I had to really get in there and clean the slate - literally - like it was a blackboard full of beliefs I'd accumulated over decades - erase them ALL, and start from scratch. You're right, it's not easy! But SO worth it! I'm forwarding this on to a few folks I think will not only love you, but this message!
Peace - and hugs,

Unknown said...

theresa: we need to forget before we can truly learn...thanks.

barry: you sound like me; i start something and if i like it, it becomes a habit...a good one

robin: i don't know what makes me happier, this comment or hearing that you're writing a second book? if more people simplified their lives, reduced them down to the bare essence of existence, and then proceeded from there, the world would be a better, more enlightened, place...

suzen: yes, erase the blackboard of our pasts so we can more clearly see our futures...thanks for your kind words, as always...



Jackie said...

I really must try to start meditating again. Tried many types over the years but my brain wouldn't shut down and I got fidgety disturbing everyone around me :(

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Steve Borgman said...

One of the best comments I heard from St Francis of Assisi was in his prayer, especially the true self-forgetting that comes about by serving others:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred,
I may bring love.
That where there is wrong,
I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord,
I may bring harmony.
That where there is error,
I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt,
I may bring faith.
That where there is despair,
I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows,
I may bring light.
That where there is sadness,
I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort,
than to be comforted.
To understand,
than to be understood.
To love,
than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Tamil Home Recipes said...

Good post.

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Sitie BUm BUm said...


Ish said...

"Finding self by losing self" Very nice quote Mr. Mike

The Fitness Diva said...

I also enjoy the concept of losing oneself first. Very thought provoking post, Mike! ;)

Unknown said...

jackie: the brain is difficult to overcome during sitting, but that is what it's all about, actually, our ability to overcome and react better...

bigb: thanks for stopping by...

steve: very nice, thanks

tamil: gracias

banking: i enjoy informing and entertaining...thanks for stopping by

ish: sometimes we need to step back to move forward...

dive: powerful and encouraging words coming from you, thanks...



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