37 thoughts on “Saying bye bye to the painful, limited self”

  1. Thankyou so much for this. Exactly what I needed to hear right now. I have a tenancy to panic and beat myself up whenever I have a delusion in my mind (so I beat myself up a lot!). Rather than running away from them I need to give myself room to investigate them and weed them out of my mind. Thankyou ♥

  2. Such wisdom in these word. Thank you Luna for sharing your wisdom. I wanted to comment that beyond remembering emptiness, what helps me is to think of future lives and consider my current pain or attachment in the entire continuum of my mind. This really puts things into perspective. Then whatever is appearing I experience as literally a blimp, insignificant really. It also encourages me to engage in meditation and purification practice. Much love to you 💖

  3. Dear Luna, your wisdom and kindness are endless, thank you!
    Another poignant and relevant post. Today we were separated from a very dear Aunt (of my husband) and close friend – she passed away this afternoon. Dharma wisdom is a saviour, particularly today. Please could you include Denise in your prayers. With love, A x

  4. Thanks for this.
    I needed to hear this again right now experiencing the laziness of dicouragement.
    I have felt some resurgrnce of these obstacles lately.
    They pop up where I least expect them.
    Best friends from our Sangha and places of refuge even have rolled out unpleasant surprizes of pain.
    Knowing these are possibly teachings is good.
    And not to panic and to patiently accept.
    Love ourself and feel loved by enlightened beeings.
    Being happy for other’s happiness.
    Knowing the true nature of non existent self.
    There is a Great Mother Puja at a centre near by next week I should go to try to unblock obstacles.

  5. Dear Luna,
    Thanks so much for this one
    I really needed today,
    I woke up thinking so many different discourage stories about my self…that i was feeling totally poor and thinking on what changes i needed to do….then i read your article and i instantly felt relax…. Remembering my true nature , with no limits and also, that everything is like an illusion…and as you beautifully said:
    “All of us are floating around in dream-like bubbles.”
    The good news are that i have now the perfect Teacher and method to learn and train my self on how to wake up from this profound dream , now I just need to practice with effort , faith , patience and a happy mind 😉

  6. Overcoming self-grasping is like removing layers and layers of old paint from the surface of a beautiful peace of wood. Sometimes when you start, you don’t realize what’s there but gradually the layers wear away as you continue to sand and scrape.

  7. Dearest Luna,

    Another amazing teaching, thanks!

    Would you please write something on dating, entering into a relationship and then maintaining a relationship, such as dealing with qualities you did not know or anticipate your partner to have (especially the ones you don’t take too well) and relating to other attractive people (especially when they display interest in you). Would love some of your wisdom here to prepare protection for my mind as I venture into territory not yet explored by me (it’s making me super jittery!).

    I’d push the person away like I always have in the past on the pretext of I don’t want to distract myself from my practice, as it does reduce the time I have available to study, read and do a formal practice. But I feel there’s a delusion at work there. Could you highlight how to “change my swing” in my practice to adapt, or even better, grow, in the new relationship?

    Thank you!

    1. Relationships from their own side are neither here nor there and we have had them with absolutely every other living being since beginningless time! As Buddha said, “all meetings end in parting”, so investing too much energy and thought into a relationship with one person just for its own sake can end up being a massive distraction if we’re not careful. So I personally think the most important question to ask is whether or not the relationship is helping you or them make spiritual progress, and if not why not, and how can that change.

      If a relationship is just about making ourselves a comfy corner in samsara, leading to some complacency or distraction from the real job at hand while the months or years go by, it ends up being a deceptive worldly pleasure (or suffering!) But if it adds fuel propelling us both along the path to true freedom and happiness, then that’s great. Only you can figure out what’s what.

  8. Scrooge comes to mind here poor old Jacob Marley all those chains such a heavy weight to carry 😉
    Let us turn to Frozen …. Let it go !!!!!!! 😊😊😊

  9. Thank you so much for this article. This happened to me recently. I have been a widow for many years but I started to worry about the future. Who will care for me when I am too old, who will want me, I cant bear to be a burden to my children Blah blah . I felt I could not go on. Over 20 years with NKT, which I love, and I am hopeless, useless, a waste of space, an unworthy lump, a figure of ridicule . etc. You name it, I am it … And then I read this piece, what a relief, what a joy. So much for me to work with.
    Thank you with all my heart.

  10. Social media can be interesting when it comes to seeing past loves in other perspectives. Recently I saw a picture of a past love on FB. Needless to say, MAJOR heartbreak occurred over this individual. My world had been shattered. Looking at the picture NOW, I have to strain my memory in recollection of who WAS that person I had been? That suffering is a historical fact yet that history seems wholly unrelated to my identity now. Not even a little bit, not even to say I have learned from it. That past love has been reverted to a neutral status individual. I don’t consider that a triumph BTW. Indifference is not my goal. Bodhichitta is.

    1. Interesting. Change the present, and the past changes too. The past is only a part of the functioning thing that is the present moment. I guess this means that if you develop pure love for this individual now, you will see their photo differently yet again.

  11. Very helpful, I like the image of the ghost crawling up the stairs and grabbing us by the throat, that’s what painful delusions feel like. Dealing with a loss, the death of my cat, best friend, most loving “boyfriend” I ever had, has been hard. I wallowed in grief for a while cause that’s what I needed to do, but then realized that all through the years as a meditator, a Kadampa, a Buddhist, I was working on “identifying as a spiritual being”. And I started identifying my cat more as a spiritual being, boundless, blissful by nature, and I wflemingas albe to feel connected to him in a deepter way. The “sad, lonley, I have nobody to love me now” self started to dissolve away. Meditations are so important, our practices will hold us up when the storms hit. Identifying as a spiritual being is so important to do, before the death comes, before the loss and the devastation. The benefits of meditation and Buddhist practices will come to fruition and we get better at it as time goes by, practicing with the smaller ghosts at our throat is preparation for the big nasty ones!

  12. After reading this, I feel so exposed, as if you have written this article specifically for me, know me personally, and are revealing my desirous attachment to the entire world.

    I know that we don’t need a romantic relationship to be happy, but is it possible to have one without attachment? I think I read in one of Geshe-la’s books that it is like trying to lick honey off a razor blade!

    1. Dharma does that! Feels relevant because we all have the same delusions and Dharma is the truth.

      As for your question, I am not sure if it is possible to have a romantic relationship with no attachment at all, at least i have never managed it!! But if we keep our eye on the prize, the inner peace of enlightenment, and are determined enough, being in a relationship or not being in one can both be helpful, teaching (or reminding) us what we need to do.

  13. Thank you for a very well written explanation of why “old love” delusions surface and linger leaving me with a sad heart and mental chatter~

  14. As I was walking into the grocery store tonight, a mother and her children were walking to their car, coming out from the store, walking in a light rain & she started them singing, ‘Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream’.
    I had to wonder if a Buddhist wrote that & why it appeared to my mind at that moment. A gentle reminder I think. 😊

    1. Shortly after I arrived here I turned on the taps at the Vajrayogini phenomena source-shaped Denver Art Museum and that song started coming out of them … the taps were singing.

  15. As usual Dearest Luna you manage to bring out the truth and give hope! Thank you so much! I have found myself faced with seemingly endless visits from the sadness monster and the “painful limited self” that can’t move on from a past love. I have tried numerous Dharma antidotes, including some of the ones you have described. During a monster episode involving unpleasant feelings regarding my ex, I find that remembering karma brings my mind back on-line. I try to remember there’s nothing/no one out there to blame, it is merely karma, my karma arising, and by patiently accepting it I can purify it. While it’s still early on in the purification of this particular situation, every time I can remember karma, the sick feeling in my stomach abates and I can bring my mind to consider my Buddha nature and the emptiness of all that surrounds me, including me. It’s by no means a “fait accompli” but it’s a start.

    1. Yes, karma is such a fantastic thing to contemplate. And take heart too from knowing that you can purify all your past attachment while you are at it so you don’t ever have to go through this again. Plus you can help others in the same situation, ie, pretty much everyone at some point or another.

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