Heartful Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 2

I, Me, Mine

5 min - Talk


In preparation for diving bravely into the practice of Tonglen, Kira offers a brief talk on the push and pull of the separate self so that we might bring awareness to the root of our suffering.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video


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So, as we begin to dive closer towards the fierce practice of what our Buddhist friends call tonglen, absolutely necessary is the recognition of the vigilance of the sense of a separate self, or as George Harrison put it in his song, I, me, mine. The consistency of the belief that we exist in a concrete form, and once we believe this then there's a continual negotiation with everything that's happening in our lives where we seek pleasure, we avoid suffering, where we seek a good reputation when we're afraid of a bad, when we seek praise and we avoid criticism, or we seek to gain material wealth and avoid loss. This sort of push-pull that we get into when we're committed to the separate self is what will keep us from allowing the heart to flow freely in these practices of loving kindness and compassion. If you haven't yet noticed this part of yourself, what I suggest is next time you find yourself in the grocery store or Target or such big box store, just notice the temptation as you're headed up towards the line to feel like you're probably the busiest person in that store. Or notice as you're driving that the person in front of you is going too slow and the person passing alongside of you is going too fast, whereas you, my friend, are going just the perfect speed.

Or maybe notice that when you get stuck in a red light and you're in a big rush there's a sense that it's being done to you personally. So like key to starting to recognize this mechanism is just to start to be a little bit more self-aware because as we come into this practice of tunglin which can at first seem like a practice that's designed to alleviate the suffering of others, the true purpose of this practice and how it really works is to take direct aim at the part of us, this all tight, small, clenched self which according to the sages across all disciplines is the root of all our suffering. So here we go, at great risk.


Alana Mitnick
One of my favorite thumbnails of all time! Thank you for sharing the teachings.
Sarah Beston
Alana Mitnick Me too! So great!
Tracy C
Nice reminder to not start... a true teacher... okay. i'm in at "great risk!".... I'm leaping right now..0wwww.....

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