Dear Integral Meditators,
I hope this message finds you well, I’m currently back in the UK and enjoying my time re-connecting to the summer landscape with all the woods plants and greenery that surrounds my family home!
Wishing you all the very best in your meditation practice,
No Name (Meditation Spaghetti Western Style)
The man or woman of no rank is a nice practice found within various meditation traditions. Essentially the idea is that, when in meditation you can temporarily drop all the labels that you normally attach to yourself and just be.
During our daily life we build our sense of who we are around labels;
- I am an architect, manager, artist, teacher, saleswoman
- I am this type of son, wife, father, daughter
- My friends think of me as this type of person
When we set these labels aside we become free to be, to be “ourself” and to connect with our “ true” or essential self; the self that lies beyond the labels we stick upon ourselves.
As a longtime fan of the Spaghetti Western and the man with no name, I often do this meditation with a visualization that looks something like this:
- I am sitting on a bench outside an empty bar/hotel in a western (as in wild western) town that has long since been deserted by its inhabitants
- There is the creaking of an old signboard above me, a gusting breeze, a big sky. A few of those rolling bushes are going by in the street, the town is surrounded by desert scrub, no one is around.
- In this space I simply imagine myself sitting thinking of nothing, dropping any memory of who I am.
- Progressively I become just a man, then a human being (genderless), then just a being, I just be, allowing myself to merge with the vastness of the landscape around me. I relax deeply.
Returning to your identity
The idea of regularly dropping your identity is to gain freedom from our normal automatic over-identification with the labels that we allow to consciously and/or unconsciously dominate our identity. By doing this we develop the capacity to live a life that is psychologically free from these labels, but that enables us to use these labels wisely and appropriately when necessary.
For example I’m Clint Eastwood, the world famous western actor. Oh no sorry forgot, I’m Toby Ouvry the meditation teacher, or at least I was before I started this article, and I think he’s still there!
© Toby Ouvry 2013, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com