Sending my ego on a silent meditation retreat
Founder of The Mindful Moment, Dr. Alexandra Domelle shares how to make peace with your ego
"There is a place within you; the home of stillness, of silence, of now. The place of endings and beginnings, of everything and nothing, of infinity and eternity. It is in every breath, every heartbeat, every moment. Listen. Listen. Listen." - Alexandra Domelle
Also known as the unwanted family member, who despite best efforts, keeps turning up at your doorstep, often at the most inopportune times.
The “false self” believed to add nothing of value to who you truly are.
Focus on the ego and you are doomed to a life of misery, suffering and discontent.
For aeons, the ego has been vilified, crucified, and labelled the least desirable aspect of our being. Despite this vendetta, the ego has continued to survive and thrive.
Ego is a part of every human being.
And chances are, as long as we have a functioning mind, as long as we have language, the ego will always be a part of us.
The ego cannot be undone. It cannot be denied.
For my part, I have tried to ignore the ego. I have threatened it. I have waged war against it. I have even pleaded with it.
I’ve tried banishing the ego. I’ve tried smothering it. I’ve tried suffocating it.
And yet every time it has returned.
Sometimes the return was quiet, soft and stealth-like, pouncing on me when I was least aware. Least conscious. Least awake.
Other times it returned with a vengeance, lashing angrily, demanding a space to be heard, to be witnessed. Oh, the calamity! Oh, the din it made!
Peace felt impossible. Silence, unattainable.
Then, one day, I tried something else.
Something least expected. Something least expected by the ego.
I gave it love. I gave it compassion. I gave it kindness.
I surrounded it with so much love that the ego didn’t know what to do.
For the first time, the ego was stumped. Never before had it been treated with love. Never before had it experienced acceptance. Never before had it felt acknowledged.
So it stopped. It stopped arguing. It stopped clamouring. It stopped talking.
And in that moment, something extraordinary happened.
I opened myself up to receive. To fully receive joy, love and peace.
As I surrendered, as I let go, this time, for the first time, the ego surrendered with me. It let go with me.
“So this is bliss,” whispered ego. “This is what it feels like.”
“Yes,” I said. “Yes, it is.”
The ego was quiet. Then, at last, it spoke again.
“Is it possible to experience this, this bliss all the time? How can I, I mean, how does one do that?”
“Through surrender,” I replied.
“With surrender comes silence. And in that silence is bliss.”
“I see,” said the ego.
Then it dawned on me. The ego was quiet. The ego was serene. The ego was at peace.
The ego was on a silent meditation retreat.
No promises were made. No pacts were sworn. No contracts were written.
How long the meditation lasts that remains to be seen, but for now, in this moment, there is peace.
There is quiet. There is silence.