"When we practice dying, we are learning to identify less with Ego and more with Soul (who would want to be an ego when we can be a soul?)"-- Ram Das & E. Lesser
It's funny but when I get comments on the blog, I'm always surprised because I forget that there are a few people (a very few) actually reading it! I have to admit this has been more like therapy for me to write, express and process what I'm learning. I believe when you have to teach something as opposed to just taking something (a class), you learn far more. And, when I actually try to apply it to my life-- then I can feel myself growing and moving with more love and less judgement... most of the time, anyway! Humility (death to self) is a constant lesson.
In the book, Broken Open (thank you Chrys Kub for the recommendation), there is a chapter on "Meditation for Practicing Dying". It sounds a bit morbid. But, really, every day is lesson in death of ourselves (our own ego, resistance to Truth, or selfish desires). "Death heightens our appreciation of every moment we are alive and calls out to us, soon you will die; what will you do with your life? What have you not done yet that you want to do? Death is the best kick in the ass I know. It is profoundly confrontational and profitable to contemplate."
"Practice dying means living as close to reality as we can in each moment. It is the ultimate bravery... the reality of the most mundane, day-to-day situations: arguing with your mate; when you get sick; when you are in a meeting at work; when you confront again, for the hundredth time, the same issue with your parent, child, or friend. Every day you are given an embarrassingly rich array of opportunities to die to your resistance to what is so about yourself, your life, and those you share it with."
Here is a meditation that the author uses to practice dying; (It just takes a few minutes. Sit in a quiet, comfortable space and read and mediate on the following):
"Bring your awareness to focus on something in your life that is changing or ending or dying right now. Breathe gently as you consider whatever transition is most significant right now in your life. Note any feelings that arise--trepidation, excitement, resistance, anger, annoyance, or grief. Every time your feelings get the better of you, become aware of your breathing. Meet your troubled and contracted feelings with your calm and expansive breath. Breathe, sigh, and stretch out on the river of change. Remember times when you have resisted change in the past. Regard how things turned out in the end- maybe not how you thought they would or you wanted them to, but in the end, there you were. Wiser, stronger, still alive. Tip your hat to the poignancy of death and the promise of rebirth. Smile. Relax. Allow yourself to break open. Sit tall, with dignity and patience, watching your breath rise and fall, rise and fall. Pray for the courage to welcome this new change with openness and wisdom.
Then, open your eyes, go back into your life, and do what you have to do, but do it with grace, with hope, and with a lighter touch."