Navigating Ego Storms

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In a previous post I described an image I use for the state of being bound to the ego. Meister Eckhart uses the term ichgebundenheit to describe this state. In my image the eye of a hurricane recklessly swings me around its periphery, subjecting me to a destructive array of errant ego-blasts, each one taking me farther away from the calm of the eye. Divine Presence resides in that center, calling me away from the storms I conjure.
Thich Nhat Hanh likens the state to clinging to the top of a tree during a storm, not a very safe place to be. In a collection of meditations he shared with prison inmates,

In a previous post I have described an image I use to describe the state of being bound to the ego. Meister Eckhart uses the term ichgebundenheit to describe this state. In my image the eye of a hurricane recklessly swings me around its periphery, subjecting me to a destructive array of errant ego-blasts, each one taking me farther away from the calm of the eye. Divine Presence resides in that center, calling me away from the storms I conjure.
Thich Nhat Hanh likens the state to clinging to the top of a tree during a storm, not a very safe place to be. In a collection of meditations he shared with prison inmates, Be Free Where You Are, he shares the spiritual practice,”The Art of Handling a Storm.”

“The Art of Handling a Storm”

When a strong emotion takes hold of you and you can’t seem to let it go, get into a stable position in which you feel grounded (sitting with feet planted firmly on the ground, lying down.) Focus away from the storm in your head and turn your attention to the stability of your belly. Feel your hands firmly in place on your belly and begin breathing in and out. With each inhale say,”Breathing in I feel my abdomen rise,” with each exhale say,”Breathing out I feel my abdomen fall.”

Thich Nhat Hanh assures us that after twenty minutes of this we will feel strong and after a while the emotion will pass. I may follow this up with a mantra that brings me into divine presence, such as Julian of Norwich’s words,”All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

May we all be well, friends.

Peace.

 

 

 

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The Hidden Corners of Obsession

The German language has an expression which has served me well for decades.  “ichgebundenheit” refers to one being bound up in the “I,” the “ich.”  The Swiss analyst, Alfred Adler, used it to mean “self-boundedness.”

 

PrisonBars (2) ichgebundenheit

 

A Glimpse…

“Obsession”

My homeless soul shuffles
In and out of the dark, cluttered corners
of ego, moving memories
from one place to another and back again.
Here’s the time she betrayed me-
over there is the Christmas Eve when he left me.
Paranoia percolates until obsession
has pilfered my peace.

© rita h kowats 2014

Coming Home…

When I am ich gebunden I reach a point when the corners are so cluttered I become immobile and I know it’s time to break loose of my prison.  I call to mind the image of my obsessions and send them loving kindness:

“May you be safe from harm.
May you be happy and peaceful.
May you be strong and healthy.
May you take care of yourself with joy.” (Buddhist Practice of Metta)

After many repetitions I release the wraiths of wrath and resentment and return home to presence.  May you too find it helpful.