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The Man or woman of No Rank

A lot of the suffering, pain and confusion that we experience in our lives comes from the attachment that we have to the roles that we habitually play in our life. The man or woman of no rank is a meditation technique that allows us to:

  • Become more aware of this attachment and over-identification we have with roles
  • Enables us to let go of them and see that we are not these labels
  • Helps us use these labels and identities effectively and appropriately in our life

You can do this contemplation in a formal meditation, or you can do it just sitting casually on your sofa or any quiet space…

Think about the roles and identities you play in your work, observe your identification with them for a while, then set them aside, temporarily let them go, realize you are not this role or label.

Extend the same process to:

  • Yourself as a partner, husband, wife
  • Yourself as a son or daughter
  • As a father or mother
  • As a person from this country, or area
  • From this social class
  • From this level of education
  • From yourself as a man, or as a woman
  • Explore any other areas where you have a strong identity to a role; ‘big strong guy’, ‘the shy type’, ‘the peacemaker’, the ‘fortunate one’ or ‘unfortunate’ one, and so on; any place where you see that you are attached or very identified with a role or label.

Step by step strip away your roles and labels. Rest in the space where you are simply a man or woman of no rank, just a person, not better or worse than anyone else, equal with the highest and the lowest of them all. Sit in a space where you are just a human being, maybe even just a ‘being’. Live this space deeply for a while.
When you return to the world, of course playing roles is inevitable, but if you practice being the man or woman of no rank you can liberate yourself from these labels, and the discover that you can use them consciously to explore and fulfill your own potential, be of service to the people around you and the world.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website