- You are not your thoughts, emotions, sensations or body.
- You can choose to experience the core self.
Prepare yourself to engage in a meditative exercise. Find yourself in a relaxed posture in a quiet place if you can. And when you are ready, please take a full clean deep breath. And as you exhale, close your eyes. And I’m going to invite you to bring up a memory of something that happened last autumn and take a look around that memory. See the sights. Hear the sounds. Make it as if you were watching a movie and make it very clear to yourself that you were there then experiencing that. And then go ahead and take a nice slow inhale and realize that you are here now experiencing this. And now, I’m going to invite you to bring up a memory of something that happened when you were a teenager. It doesn’t have to be a provocative memory, just something that you can bring up very vividly. And take a look around that memory. See the sights. Hear the sounds. Make it very clear to yourself that you were there then experiencing that. And go ahead and take a nice full clean deep breath. And as you do, realize that you are here now experiencing this. Don’t let me convince you with my words. See if you can take this as an experienced fact. Something about you has been you your whole life. The you that’s here now breathing and listening was there then in that autumn memory and in that teenage memory. Something about you has been you your whole life, unbroken, unchanged, unfractionated. Sometimes, we call this the observing self, the core you. Some people call it the self-as-context. Other people call it pure awareness. Other folks call it the self-as-perspective. Some people go as far as to call it the soul. Something about you has been you your whole life, unbroken, unchanged. At times, it is helpful for us to be able to get in contact with this observing self. But our language and our experiences often take us away from contacting this self-as-context.
Let’s walk through different things that sometimes distract us from our core self. Right now, I’m going to ask you to do a very simple quick body scan. Notice the top of your head. Now, move your attention down through your neck, through your chest, through your waist and the top of your legs, scanning through your knees and the bottom of your legs through your feet down to your toes. You just came in contact with your body but you are not your body. You have a body but your body is not you. You, the core you has remained unchanged throughout your entire life so you are not your body. The body that is here now was not there then in that autumn memory. There have been weight fluctuations, chemical changes, haircuts. It’s not the same body and it’s certainly not the same body from the teenage memory. The body that is here now was not there then. Therefore, you are not your body.