Illusion of Self 2

My intrigue and interest in this topic has kindled whilst cultivating a mindful approach to photography and recent life experiences.

In developing The Mindful Photographer I touched on how mindfulness provides a doorway to self enquiry and an investigation into how the concept of self may just be an illusion.

Recently I have experienced a loss of self. A severe constriction of my breathing left me unable to be anything beyond the next breath. Over many days I felt unmanned, adrift and disconnected. I lost a little sense of who or what I was. I found this deeply unsettling and it caused huge difficulties.

Now, in an oxygenated place, I am reconnected. But the experience has caused me to reflect. What was it that I lost? Was there something of an opportunity arising from the experience? 


I have continued my reading on the topic and have also started listening to relevant Buddhist Dharma talks. The prose below is from a talk at Gaia House, Devon by Leela Sarti entitled ‘The Illusion of Self. Equanimity and Beyond’. I found it resonated with my recent experience and hinted positively at how dissolving the ego can make us whole. I hope you find it useful.

There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken.

There is a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterred.

There is sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy.

And the fragility out of who’s depth emerges strength.

There is a hollow space to vast for words, through which we pass with each loss. Out of who’s darkness we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sounds, who’s serrated edge cuts the heart, as we break open to the place inside which is unbreakable and whole.

Whilst learning to sing.

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