Guest practice: gratitude, impermanence and disidentification

 

During our solo practice day, I spent an hour or so (in between the choiceless awareness practice) on a guest practice that has surfaced for me… one of those practices that arises and do themselves, or in this case wants to be done more actively by me.

There is a seeing of any phenomena, of all content, as guests. Living their own life, coming and going on their own, following their own schedule.

First, as a parade of things in my life, past and present. Friends, family, relationships, situations, this human self, this body, this personality with its particular likes and dislikes. They are all temporary guests, living their own life, coming and going on their own schedule. So I thank each one for visiting my life, and send them on.

Then, the larger whole… the culture, civilization, humanity, animal life, ecosystem, the earth, this solar system, this galaxy, this universe, the whole world of form… all temporary guests, living their own life, coming and going on their own. Thanking each one, and sending them on.

Then, experiences and states… the initial awakening, bliss, joy, energy, clarity, memories of happiness in childhood, memories of dread from childhood, dullness, times of fear, times of sadness, times of feeling on and off track, insights, clarifications, confusion… specific times and experiences… all guests, living their own life, coming and going on their own, following their own schedule. Thanks to each one, and sending it on.

(Exactly how this is done can be polished up… maybe first past and present people, relationships, things, and situations… then thoughts, insights, stories, personality, the likes and dislikes of the personality, this body, and this human self… then the larger world of art, music, buildings, places, culture, civilization, ecosystems, earth, solar system, galaxy, universe… all the time keeping it specific, bringing attention to specific people, relationships, and so on.)

And then, as I go about my daily life, noticing particular situations and experiences… seeing how they are all guests, living their own life. Thanking them, and sending them on.

I find it to be a very helpful practice in several different ways…

Gratitude, for anything and everything in my life, including those things the personality is not particularly fond of.

Impermanence, seeing how all content comes and goes, as temporary guests. The leaving is inherent in the arriving.

Disidentification, seeing how all content… all situations, experiences, thoughts, personality, even this human self… live their own life, coming and going on their own, following their own schedule. They do not belong to “me”, and there is not even any “me” left that they can belong to. It all gets swallowed up as what comes and goes, living its own life.

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