Making Friends with Yourself (II)

© Andrew Safer 2015

When we interrupt our busy momentum—even if it’s just for a moment—we have a chance to make friends with ourselves. This is not just a matter of giving ourselves a break—although that’s certainly part of it. There’s something more…

In meditation practice, we see that our minds are so busy—nervous about a presentation scheduled for tomorrow, thinking about my partner / roommate who’s having a hard time, hunger pangs, what will my friends think of my latest post on Facebook?, troubleshooting my back pain…Every now and again, we catch a break when we recognize the fact that we’re thinking, and shift our attention back to the breath and posture. Even if the next thing that pops up immediately ropes us in and we’re gone again, there was an interval in time and space that was unpopulated. Unspoken for. But then, we tend to want to turn this free space into a “thing”—something we can grasp, draw a line around, point to, recreate, explain…as if we were planting a flag on Mount Everest!

As we continue with mindfulness practice, we see that this sticky-fingered approach—trying to hold on to our experience—is futile. In an instant, it’s gone. So we can try another approach. Check colonialism at the door, and do the opposite: disown, and we might find that space begins to open up once again.

Who knew that there was something other than our thoughts? Space; basic accommodation, in which there is no for or against, elevating or lowering, liking or disliking. Becoming acquainted with this neutral ground is conducive to making friends with ourselves–all aspects of ourselves, including the parts we consider to be “good”, “bad”, and “ugly”.

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