Self Realization – the difference between "self" & "Self"

Posted by Lala Naidu on

The essence of Ayurveda and Yoga is to align our lives with Spirit, to awaken to our divinity. I like to say that the human experience is “both-and”, a term adopted from Timothy Freke1. We are finite beings, incarnated into temporary human form and simultaneous infinite – beyond time and space. The human experience is both one of individual form and expression, in my case, Lala with her personal storyline and at the same time, simply Life witnessing itself Witnessing Presence, with no personal identity, connected with all that is.

Suffering or duhkha happens when we identify exclusively with the temporary “small self” – where your happiness depends on life – people, situations, and circumstances – acting in accordance with your needs and preferences; and when things don’t go your way, as they do, you become upset and suffer. Freedom lies in the alignment with Life, Spirit, or Self with a capital “S” – in non-attachment – Life simply Is – unfolding…just like a flower or other living being. This doesn’t mean that you should not have needs nor set goals, but don’t be attached to the outcome, whether your goal is achieved or not doesn’t really matter, from a more expanded perspective. Yes, goals bring purpose and meaning to your personal life, though if you are, at the same time, connected and in touch with a deeper aspect of existence you can witness the play of life or Lila, and enjoy the ride – whether things go your way or not. This is a practice, a path, of awakening.

Meditation is a powerful tool to cultivate this expanded awareness. As we sit in meditation, things naturally bubble to the surface – often relational situations pop up on the inner movie screen with judgments, criticism, feelings of hurt and frustration, etc. all related to the “small self”. To not ride the endless waves of thought-forms dwelling on the past or imagining the future, one practice is to catch yourself, and continually bring your awareness back to the breath, as an anchor into the body, into the “here and now”, from where Life simply is. As we practice returning to the breath over and over again, the space between the thoughts expands. Your identification with thoughts diminishes and inner peace develops. This is true freedom – freedom from perpetual, habitual thinking. So, make room for meditation in your life.


  1. Timothy Freke is an internationally respected authority on world spirituality. He is the author of over thirty books that have established his reputation as a scholar and free-thinker.
Ayurveda Meditation Mindfulness

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