David Silver returns to the Mindrolling Podcast for a conversation around the fixation on “me” that we all share and an exploration of ways that we can transform our own narratives and how we relate to the world.
#ME (Opening) – One of the biggest social transformations that Western culture has seen in the last year is thanks to the #METOO movement, which has brought unprecedented awareness to the many disparities and abuses that women in all communities live with. Raghu and David discuss another level of awareness that we can bring to the abuses and disparities in truth that arise from the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and the world outside. How do we begin to redirect the egoic momentum of “me”, all of that energy that we focus on ourselves and our desires?
“It’s like the breath, you start following the breath and then you notice that you are biting your nails. So you just put your hand down and go back to following your breath and you realize that it is just your ego saying, ‘Think of ME, ME, ME! You are too neurotic to get to God, so why bother? What are you doing meditating? You better work on ME first!’ and that will keep you sucked in for the rest of your life.” – Ram Dass
Doing and Being (11:00) – We look at the Hindu philosophy of vairagya, practices of detachment and renunciation that leads to inner freedom. Raghu shares a recent experience which served as a reminder to surrender to what is, and not force his own desires and thoughts of what “should be.” David talks about the way that contemplative practice cultivates our ability to catch ourselves and return to our center of no-self when our ego’s spin out of control.
“What can you do? There is nothing to do but have awareness. This is happening, it is all I can do. I am obviously getting caught and all I can do is pick myself out of the mud and keep going. Awareness is a huge aspect of this.” – Raghu Markus
Lightening and Enlightening (32:10) – Raghu and David reflect on the fleeting nature of the moment, a perspective which allows us to lighten up. They discuss the connection between keeping a light heart and avoiding the traps of the ego, as well as the difference between loosening up and giving up on the right kinds of perseverance and dedication.
Joseph Goldstein shares teachings from The Satipatthāna Sutta around loosening our attachment to the stories we tell ourselves with spiritual practice on Ep. 60 of the Insight Hour Podcast
Saying No To Nostalgia (51:50) – Is the heartwarming nostalgia of the past anything to hold on to or is it just another form of attachment? David talks about the unhealthy habit we have of looking backward at our own experiences or even experiences shared by others that we desire.
“I don’t love nostalgia, it does not work for me. The idea of ‘be there then, now’ is rubbish. It doesn’t help to look back on the Sixties and say they are any better or worse.” – David Silver
Keep On, Keepin’ On (1:02:05) – We close with advice from Raghu and David around moving forward with the intention of a more selfless approach to everything life has to offer.
Image via Bruce Rolff