Guided Selflessness Meditation

by Peter Carlson on February 27, 2013

The Buddhist concept of selflessness is not well understood by many Westerners.  The misperception is that selflessness means emptiness like interstellar space, or a blank mind.  This is not the understanding expressed by Peter in this guided meditation.  When the mind is stable in focus and serenity is experienced, there’s a quality of softness or spaciousness in the mind.  When the mind is caught up in the internal narrative that we call “myself”, it’s as if looking at a page and only seeing the print.  The spaciousness is noticing the paper around the print as well as the print.  Selflessness goes even further–it’s noticing the paper, the print, what’s around the paper, what sounds are apparent–the totality of present moment awareness without preference for any part of the experience, including the “self” that seems to be witnessing all this!  During this meditation, Peter helps the listener open more and more to the inner spaciousness and quietude, until all the sensations that are in awareness have no reference to a body.  Sensations that would normally be assigned a “space” in the body, such as pressure of the back on the chair, aches in the knees, sounds, etc., would not necessarily be identified as such.  Instead, what is noticed is a difference in vibration, contraction, pressure, heat, etc. that exists as different than where there’s no sensation.  Even the “self” that’s noting the sensations becomes another area of very fine vibrations, but doesn’t demand a location–just present awareness.  This direct awareness of the field of awareness without any designation can be considered as selflessness.  It’s quite peaceful, and reduces the strongly conditioned concept of self that we normally identify with.

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