Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have hundreds of Buddhist clients. In fact, I too studied many forms of Buddhist meditation over the years and attribute much of my healing to their practices. I not only meditate everyday, but numerous times a day.
Yet, I also have seen many clients rewound during deep meditation practices/life challenges…because the pain of what they are experiencing becomes too much for them.
Some of my friends, even clients, got lost in the pain, in part, because they didn’t think it was “right” or even allowed for them to have any concept of individualized self that was differentiated from the pain. Too often in life and in meditation the “objective observer” isn’t strong enough and the pain takes over to consume, traumatize and overwhelm. You lose yourself because you have no solid concept of self.
Having “no self” is a goal I feel I am now finally strong enough internally to achieve. Yet, not everyone is ready for such a difficult goal. And, as a result, I have seen clients get trapped in depression, anxiety and hopelessness. I had one client even leave therapy because I suggested there was a spiritual wholeness she could identify with as a supportive energy. I discovered two years later, she had committed suicide.
So demanding “no self” is not a positive choice for everyone…yet it can be a goal to work toward. In object relations theory, a child is not individualized from their mother until the age of about six months to a year.
Specifically, modern theorist discuss something they call the “Self-object”. This is when there is a loss of boundaries, where “what is self and object are blurred” so that the distinction between self and external object is not clear. (This condition is called "confluence" in Gestalt Therapy. (SOURCE: ww.sonoma.edu/users/d/daniels/objectrelations.html)
You see, just as some children need a transitional object (my son used a blue blanket) to support them when they leave the mother’s side, we adult humans too can often need a bigger sense of self to hold on to when life floods our emotional container with negative feelings, beliefs and/or events.
For instance, when I traveled in the African Bush, I was very glad to have a GPS when nighttime came, and all I could hear was the roar of lions. So when you are feeling as if you are in the dark hurricane of overwhelming stress and emotions, it is vital you have some solid ground…a metaphorical eye of the hurricane to regain your center and know what direction to turn.
This is why I teach clients how to connect to their inner true wholeness (Core Being) so they know what direction to turn when life gets too hard. You see, all of us, have a bigger self, a higher vibration of wholeness that defines our value and worth. In fact, there is an actual energy vortex that you can connect to that expands your consciousness to the higher vibrational frequency of your “bigger essence.”
And as you learn to return back to the energy of your Core Being throughout your day, you empower your brain, nervous system, higher mind, and body to navigate the jungle of life’s challenges. Your Core Being can be a necessary light in the darkness of life’s overwhelm.
Otherwise, you can feel like a leaf blowing in the wind of other people’s impressions, wishes and needs. I find as clients learn how to anchor deeply into their true spiritual wholeness, they become able to navigate any storm that blows their way.
And, in time, many clients can learn to eventually let go of that transitional object and embody the Buddhist openness, the bliss and vastness of “no self.”