This may look like a duplicate of the previous post Befriending Yourself; Befriending Life, but it isn’t.
The Self we’re talking about here isn’t the ego self. The whole concept of being friends with your body and mind begins with being compassionate with the egoic human you exist as in one layer. This is a superficial layer.
We’re layered beings. Initially it’s easy and convenient to identify only with our body and ego. It’s what everyone else is busy doing around us. And when we look in the mirror we see our face and have thoughts and emotions that tell us who we are.
When awakening occurs, we begin to have conscious access to the Self.
The sense ‘I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it — body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions etc. All these self-identifications are misleading. Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not.
— Nisargadatta Maharaj
As much as we’re wise to acknowledge our body and mind, we’re wiser to acknowledge the I Am. The initial friendliness leads to the greater one. When we practice compassion for our human, we’re able to rise to our spiritual Self. If we reject our human, residency with the Self is short-lived, if found at all. For most of us a certain degree of psychological wholeness is required before we venture into more elevated territory.
Pure existence is also pure consciousness. This is the Atman, or higher Self, that dwells in the hearts of all beings…. the real Self is not a personal or mental formation, not a creature or entity of any type. It is the being of consciousness that transcends time, place and individual. To access our true Self is simple but not easy. It requires that we are at peace within our hearts and receptive to its inner light. This is the basis of meditation.
— David Frawley
It’s normally not put into these terms, but since being friends means knowing really well and spending time with, befriending oneself can easily be applied to the Self, as well as the self. The idea is that we must become familiar with our spiritual being. Often there’s difficulty understanding what this part of us really is, how it feels. A simple solution is to go ahead and reserve quality time for this inner relationship.
Seek within. Your own self is your best friend. — Nisargadatta Maharaj
Guess to which ‘self’ he’s referring. He also says this: “Be what you are — conscious being — and don’t stray away from yourself.”
There’s a personal self, and an impersonal Self. The personal self is temporary. The impersonal Self is abiding. We have to befriend both. This begins with befriending your personhood. Since we don’t end there, our friendship must extend throughout our Being.
Put your awareness to work, not your mind. The mind is not the right instrument for this task. The timeless can be reached only by the timeless. Your body and your mind are born subject to time; only awareness is timeless, even in the now.
— Nisargadatta Maharaj
The mind is mostly informed by the five senses which often don’t portray the truth. Our normal, human sensing is wonderful but isn’t always accurate. Our perceptions are often skewed. Beyond the loop of our personal history, biases, preferences, wounding, and even wherever we excel, we have access to neutral awareness. This awareness isn’t bound by our biography in time. It isn’t bound by our perceptions in time. It stands outside the closed feedback loop of the human mind interpreting whatever the senses may be imparting.
This impartial, untainted awareness is the clearest way to knowing. It’s there for us to open up to and establish an unbroken link.
Give up all questions except one: “Who am I?” After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The “I am” is certain. The “I am this” is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not — body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that — nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being.
— Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Reiki Master-Teacher of Authentic Japanese Usui Reiki in Fort Lauderdale at my South Florida Oasis Reiki Dojo. Meditation, Healing, and Spirituality training and services, and educator.