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Your Stories

Spiritual teachers, saints, sages, shamans, mystics, and wisdom traditions all agree in principle that you are not (or only) the familiar story of who you think you are, which we commonly call the ego. Furthermore, The possibility exists for you to recognize, or know, a much deeper aspect of reality as yourself, true nature, and with such self-realization comes the end of personal suffering. We already have enjoyed moments of such contented well-being but these experiences are often fleeting and are soon replaced by the return of familiar, thought-based stories that pull attention away from the present moment into stories about the past or future.


It is not unusual to read or hear mention of the idea that in order to progress on the spiritual path that we need to destroy the ego, or at least to somehow rid ourselves of it. But that’s just the ego wanting to get rid of the ego. The unreality of this possibility was expressed by Adyashanti when he wrote "Trying to get rid of your ego would be like trying to get rid of your shadow," suggesting it's not something we can hope to dispose of.


The ego in its common usage can be understood as that which we call the ordinary self. The product of childhood conditioning, the ego is the fluid collection of perceptions/experiences of thoughts, beliefs, memories, feelings, and activity that seems to be limited to, or associated with, one's physical body. This mind/ body perspective, the ego/self, gets affirmed by the consensus of other ego/selves and our perspective on reality becomes rigid and limited by this view. We identify with the ego/self and develop a “story of me” that defines us, effectively denying the possibility of knowing ourselves from other perspectives.

The mind is a story making machine.


The promise of a spiritual path is the possibility that we can understand or see beyond our familiar story, shift away, or awaken from our habitual thought patterns, thus becoming more available for true nature to express itself through us. There is nothing you can do to become free of the ego. When that shift happens, which is a shift from thinking to awareness, from story to presence, an intelligence far greater than the ego's cleverness begins to operate in your life.


Are you able to recognize your multiple stories as story? Are you willing to ask if your story really matters? Have you noticed all the judgments of self and others in your story? Can you see how your thoughts, beliefs, and opinions are merely habitual, your automatic default? Are you willing to let go of your stories? What do you fear about letting go? Without your story, who are you?



The biggest challenge for most spiritual seekers is 

to surrender their self importance, and 

see the emptiness of their own personal story. 

It is your personal story that you need to awaken from in order to be free.

~ Adyashanti

The word 'person' comes from the Latin word 'persona',

which referred to the masks worn by actors

in which sound would come through.

The 'person' is the maskーthe role you're playing.

And all your friends and relations and teachers are busy

telling you who you are and what your role in life is.

~ Alan Watts

How would you know yourself without your story?

~ Stuart Schwartz


Notice the difference between being lost in a thought and being mindful that we’re thinking. Becoming aware of the thought is like waking up from a dream or coming out of a movie theater after being absorbed in the story.

Through mindfulness, we gradually awaken from the movies of our minds.”

~ Joseph Goldstein 


We are trained to know who we are and what reality is through our definitions, through others' definitions, through cultural parameters, religious parameters, and even spiritual parameters. We limit ourselves when we rely on knowing ourselves indirectly, through predetermined thought.

When I met Papaji, he told me to stop. When I let that stop in, I recognized that he meant to stop every habit of defining myself. He meant to stop creating and recreating myself. What a monumental task that is, and yet it is absolutely immediate and simple. The truth of who we are is freshly revealed when we take responsibility for its direct discovery.

~ Gangaji


The ego thinks it gains something by getting attention—it wants to validate itself. It wants to be visible because then it feels real, so it looks for attention to make itself experience visibility. In this way ego has created a story, and the attention it receives enables the idea that you are that ego, that you are the one seeking attention. Then mistaken identity happens! See how this game works?

~Jac O'Keeffe


The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story.

~ Byron Katie


When you are present in this moment, 

you break the continuity of your story, of past and future. 

Then true intelligence arises, and also love. 

~ Eckhart Tolle


Life will always touch you in some way .. but who you really are cannot be touched.

Opening wide to allow the paradox of this means you become vaster than who you think you are. And in this vastness, you live from the space within which everything happens.

Now you are free of your story.

~ Amoda Maa Jeevan


In the story of you, you believe you are going somewhere, to some future moment of awakening. But you are not going anywhere. More precisely, there is no "you" to go anywhere. There is only thought happening.

That thought paints a picture of past that you call, "Who you are." It paints a picture of future that you call, "Who you are going to become." But you are not thought. You are not the past or the future. Because you are not thought, you cannot find yourself through seeking, which is a dream of thought.

In seeing that the spiritual search is happening all on its own, there is the possibility that awareness will start to see it for what it really is -- a dream of thought. When awareness sees the dream of thought known as "you and your spiritual search" and sees that it is happening spontaneously and involuntarily, all of the mental and emotional effort drops out of the search. There is a natural resting into what is.

~ Scott Kiloby

Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.

~ Ram Dass


Oftentimes when we are caught in the story it's very hard to come to the simplicity of the sensory present moment experience. But it is important because in the noticing of what is here, the mind can have a moment of rest. And that very moment can be a gateway to presence.

~ Neelam


"One day I will be free of the ego."

Who is talking? The ego.

To become free of the ego is not really

a big job but a very small one.

All you need to do is be aware of your thoughts and emotions

as they happen.

This is not really a 'doing', but an alert 'seeing'.

In that sense, it is true that

there is nothing you can do to become free of the ego.

When that shift happens,

which is the shift from thinking to awareness,

an intelligence far greater than the ego's cleverness

begins to operate in your life.

Emotions and even thoughts become depersonalized through awareness.

Their impersonal nature is recognized,

there is no longer a self in them.

They are just human emotions, human thoughts.

Your entire personal history, which is ultimately no more than a story,

a bundle of thoughts and emotions,

becomes of secondary importance and

no longer occupies the forefront of your consciousness.

It no longer forms the basis for your sense of identity.

You are the light of Presence,

the awareness that is prior to and

deeper than any thoughts and emotions.

~ Eckhart Tolle


You need to hear the truth about yourself as frequently as possible, because your mind is so preoccupied with false self-images. 

~ A Course In Miracles

Whatever mind presents is just story. Seeing it as story is one thing but really to recognize it as story removes its life-force. When you recognize a scenario as story, honor your own spiritual path by always dropping it. When we chose a story knowingly, having seen it is a story, and we still find it entertaining/interesting then we are turning our back on the truth.

~ Jac O'Keeffe


Because you see thoughts, feelings and sensations as inside you, you identify with them. . . .Take a deep interest in your own story. Face your reactions. Every time you face your reaction you cease to be an accomplice with it and without fuel it fades away. 

When you live free from all reaction you find yourself in a new dimension that is always interesting. In life you must make a choice and the choice should be to live in beauty. So become more acquainted with beauty.

~ Jean Klein

The ego sustains its separation from life by telling itself stories about whether life is or is not trustworthy, or whether life is essentially good or bad. All these conclusions comprise our personal myth about life, and they are the prism through which we experience life. They perpetuate the ultimate myth, which is who I think I am—the imagined ego. So can life be experienced without any conclusion, any judgment, any story? What is life then? Dare we experience life with such directness and simplicity? Who are we without our personal myth about ourselves and life in general?

Do not answer this question in your mind. Do not say ‘consciousness’ or ‘awareness’ or even ‘love,’ because these are stories too. Just live in the questions. Let the questions reveal reality beyond all descriptions.

~ Adyashanti


Let it be ok that nothing is happening. Let the show be over, let the movie, the story of 'I' as an individual person, be over. And see what happens. Truth will reveal itself, absolute clarity of how this matrix works, will show itself to be no more than a matrix. And somehow, a capacity to enjoy what ever is unfolding is always there.

~ Jac O' Keeffe


You can't make a decision. You can only experience a story about how you made it. Decisions make themselves; they are happenings; they come when the time is right. Who would you be without the story that you need to make a decision?

~ Byron Katie


The revelation of Being Here while residing in a human body is infinite. The dimensions and textures of ‘here’ only seem to expand with each breath and deepen with each day.  Every moment of being alive is truly a miracle: An opportunity to open and receive the blessing of discovering the most intimate relationship we will ever have. 

But unfortunately for most of us, no one told us this. No one could show us how to receive and celebrate the blessing of being truly alive. Rather, most of us inherited the DNA that carries the tragic cultural narrative: life is just something you are here to suffer, conquer and survive. 

Add to that the fact that developmental trauma is a given for most of us, by virtue of where we are in evolution. No matter which way this narrative has played out in your personal, cultural and ancestral story line; the crux of it lands in each of as an unconscious core wound of separation from the Source of who we are.  When our native innocence is not met, seen or affirmed in early life, a core misperception of our true identity ensues. 

~ Ajaya Sommers


Language helps us interpret the world in story. We tell ourselves stories all the time. The categorizing of information in terms of opposites: do or don’t, win or lose, good or bad, like or dislike, and so on. These dichotomies lend themselves to value judgments. Every belief, every value, is another story. See that language is a tool. Pick it up and set it down. It’s an interpretation of the world, of you, of life. It’s limited and inaccurate.

~ Jac O' Keeffe

The individual personal energy is convinced that it is acting, or making decisions and choices, and having at least a bit of influence in the flow of things. It believes that it is deciding to move the hand, or to put the kettle on, scratch the ass, or stroke the dog.

Maybe it doesn’t believe that it has all control, but it does think that it is influencing things in some way.

That is not the case at all, not true.

That personal energy of “me,” and the storyteller of it, is simply a by-product of what is happening. They are not creating anything, or in control of anything, They are just a part of the flow.

The designed program is to give the appearance that somebody is separate, and somebody is in control of his or her life, and living separately from everything else. That is not the case at all, not true.

~ Lisa Cairns


Without our stories, we are not only able to act clearly and fearlessly, we are also a friend, a listener. We are people living happy lives. We are appreciation and gratitude that have become as natural as breath itself. Happiness is the natural state for someone who knows that there's nothing to know and that we already have everything we need, right here now.

~ Byron Katie

Satsang is not an invitation to get more for "me." There are many opportunities in the world for that. Satsang is about the ending of the preoccupation with "me-ness." Mysteriously, in the ending of the personal story, you experience completion and fulfillment.

~ Gangaji

Within the story there’s no way out.

~ Stuart Schwartz


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