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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Ego-death, Panic, and Meditation - 28feb23

I’ve seen Olympic divers plummet in a controlled and graceful manner from ridiculously high platforms and then emerging from the chlorinated waters, minutes later beaming, and eager to repeat their performance. But what if it was me or you upon such a platform, with no intention of diving (nor training to do so) simply up there to admire the breath taking view, in all its pulse pounding glory. Intoxicated (in equal parts) by the long climb up and the spectacular vista, we could be so preoccupied with taking in the view and reeling from our exertion that we stumble and fall. I dare say our decent would be markedly different than that of the Olympian.

Similarly, there are many contemplative techniques which, when torn from the context of the other elements of a particular spiritual system, could create analogs of ego-death: frightening and disorienting. Just as a bird requires both its wings to take to the skies, likewise perceptive mindfulness, releasing meditation, and heart-felt empathy must be practiced in counter-point if we are to traverse meditation’s path, in truly sustainable manner. _/\_

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