Identity and Freedom

INTERACTIVE: Crossing the Line

There’s no getting around this paradox if you want to grok spiritual practice. On the one hand, you are definitely a unique little weirdo. On the other hand, you’re also the irreducible sum of all unique weirdos, and / or none of them. It depends on your perspective. Whether you call it noself or True Self, many meditators report experiences – usually temporary, but often increasing in frequency and duration – of feeling ever-more free from their previous identities. On this Monday night in September, we’ll explore both sides. We’ll kick things off with a venerable Hindu practice called “not this, not that” (neti-neti in Sanskrit), where you basically investigate every little bit of your experience, and progressively dismiss each bit as being “not you,” since the real you (ie, not-you) is apparently over on this side doing all the noticing. It’s a pretty thrilling – and disorienting, and sometimes frustrating – meditation if you’ve never done it before. Then, for part two’s Interactive practice, we’ll explore the opposite: our very real identities, the ones that get yanked around everyday in various intersectional directions. Can we hold both of these perspectives without our heads exploding? Only one way to find out.

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