This podcast comes from a talk given on a hot, sultry night in Brooklyn last summer at Ava Gerberâ€™s Lucky Lotus Yoga Studio.
It really cuts to the chase when it comes to the Big Question: Who the hell am I?
When we go looking for the self we thoroughly believe exists â€“ an unchanging, unitary, independent, commander of body and mind entity â€“ itâ€™s like trying to find Waldo, the little dude with the spectacles and the red and white scarf hidden amongst a teeming crowd. Only in this case itâ€™s the â€œWhereâ€™s Waldo?â€ from hell, because Waldo ainâ€™t there to be found at all!
The â€œsomebody selfâ€ weâ€™re so attached to is just a phantom, or more accurately, is just an idea. And we suffer because of our grasping to what is only a concept, a â€œself-conception,â€ not realizing that â€œIâ€ am just a name or signifier.
Out of ignorance, we are dissatisfied with who we are. Out of desire, we want to be more. And out of aversion, we want to shave off those aspects of our self that we find unappealing.
We are, in a word, discontent with what is and who we are, and this is really the heart of what makes us suffer.