Die to the Self: A Mindfulness Meditation

Practicing a meditation to ‘die to the self’ during a pandemic may not be your first priority but it’s the only way out of anxiety and fear. The anxiety and fear that arises during a pandemic includes illness or death of yourself or your loved ones, loss of work, home, possessions, and short term and long term changes to your lifestyle. Anything that helps us let go of fear and connect with our true nature is critical.

The meditation below is fierce yet transformational. It is important to sit quietly and read over this list several times a day. Take three deep breathes at the beginning and at the end of the meditation, and between each paragraph. While you visualize each aspect of the self falling away, make sure to half-smile (i.e. slightly upturned lips with a relaxed facial expression.)

Do not expect joy or peace to be found from this meditation. But do expect freedom from fear. There is also insight to be had and discoveries to be made about what is truly important including the ability to be more intensely present in each moment. 

Die to the Self Meditation

Close your eyes, half-smile, and take 3 deep breathes. Now open your eyes and read the list taking a moment to visualize each aspect falling away.

I am not my face.
I am not my hair.
I am not my body.
I am not my mind.
I am not my emotions.
I am not my intellect.
I am not my job.
I am not my talents.
I am not my hobbies.
I am not my achievements.
I am not my successes.
I am not my failures.
I am not my money.
I am not my possessions.
I am not my car.
I am not my house.
I am not my surroundings.
I am not my role as a friend, parent, spouse, partner, sibling, or child.

Close your eyes, half-smile, and take 3 deep breathes. Now open your eyes and read the list taking a moment to visualize each aspect falling away.

These things I see are not me. I am not caught in what I see.
These sounds are not me. I am not caught in these sounds.
These smells are not me. I am not caught in these smells.
These tastes are not me. I am not caught in these tastes.
These contacts with the body are not me. I am not caught in the contacts with the body.
These thoughts are not me, I am not caught in these thoughts.

Close your eyes, half-smile, and take 3 deep breathes. Now open your eyes and read the list taking a moment to visualize each aspect falling away.

The past is not me. I am not limited by the past.
The present is not me. I am not limited by the present.
The future is not me. I am not limited by the future.

Close your eyes, half-smile, and take 3 deep breathes. Now open your eyes and read the list taking a moment to visualize each aspect falling away.

These eyes are not me. I am not caught in these eyes.
This body is not me. I am not caught in this body.
The decaying of this body does not mean the end of me.
I am life without boundaries.
I am not limited to this body.

Close your eyes, half-smile, and take 3 deep breathes. Now open your eyes.

Here are a few quotes to contemplate that are associated with this meditation.

“Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” and find that there is no death. The only ‘real’ death is never knowing who you really are, never understanding your true ‘being’. When you have a true sense of self, this can never die, be taken away, or compromised.” -Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of  Now.

“Most of the time, we are caught in the notion that the disintegration of the body is our own disintegration. We are all very afraid of becoming nothing. But the disintegration of the body cannot affect our true nature.” -Thich Nhat Hanh author of Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm

Contact me: If you would like coaching on how to overcome fear and anxiety, please contact me through my website to schedule an appointment.

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