Finding Myself by Myself

Many of us have the notion that we need to go to a mountaintop (Tibet, anyone?) in order to ‘find’ ourselves. We tell ourselves that if we had no distractions, no demands on our time and energies, no worries about_______(fill in the blank), then we would be able to ‘see’ through all of the conflictual elements in ourselves and straighten ourselves out. Sound familiar?

This notion seems to underlie the fervor and appeal of meditation as it is popularly presented….as the practice of clearing the clutter in our minds so that we can think more clearly. I sense there’s a Zen proverb hidden in that approach. But it alludes me. Perhaps someone reading this can suggest how best to phrase it?

My experience from a long time ago when I first went ‘away’ to ‘find’ myself could be best compared with me anticipating that giving 30 monkeys 30 days in a room filled with reams of paper and typewriters would and could produce something prophetic, profound, poetic and purposeful.

What I got was confetti.

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