Tag Archive: ego

Something that I do at church, and do really well, is read the scripture. I absolutely love getting up in front of the congregation to read the lesson.  I try to work through it ahead of time so that I know the context and can add the proper inflections to help people connect with the story. (Nothing worse than just a dry reading, but that’s what you see in most churches.)

Yesterday I was doing a reading from Isaiah.  I thought I had nailed it.  So I was surprised when I went back to my seat and Ellen leaned over and said “Better wear your glasses next time. You messed up some stuff.”  I was outraged.

Since one of my other jobs at church is to record the service, I was able to “go to the tape” when we got home. Turns out I messed up two words.

The verse was, “‘Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”, and I said “Why do we fast, but you do not see? We humble ourselves, but you do not notice?'”  And the other verse was, “Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?”, and I said “Is such the fast that I chose, a day to humble oneself?”

But what really ticked me off was that I was offended – the hell I messed up!  I let my ego get the better of me and had to prove, ostensibly to myself but probably to my wife, that I was right.  Of course, I was wrong.

Damn. Gotta work on that one. Put the ego in the backseat, not the driver’s seat.

The Online Meditation Crew has a Facebook group.  At first I was hesitant to join.

Sometimes I feel like I’m holding two different worlds in tension.  There is the one that I grew up with, where Christianity is the norm.  Then there is the one in which I can explore spirituality and religion without worrying about what society expects of me.

Facebook and Twitter mirror those worlds for me.  In Twitter, I have the shield of anonymity that I can hide behind if I need to, so it feels safe.  It is the place that I can explore and connect and get answers and try things on for size.

Facebook is more like “real life” for me.  All of my friends on Facebook (save two) are people that I know in real life – whether it’s friends from high school, former coworkers, or people from my current social circle, which centers around the Episcopal Church (in fact 18% of my friends are priests).

The Online Meditation Crew is Twitter.  It is a place where I can let my guard down, ask questions, explore.  I really like what I see, what I am doing, and what I am learning and experiencing. I don’t hold any illusions that I actually know the people I’m sitting with, but it really doesn’t matter.  We are all part of the same universe, and as such part of each other.  All the rest is details.

My fear was that my Twitter/OMC/Buddhist world would suddenly collide with my Facebook/Christian world and I would somehow end up chucked to the side from both.

And, lest you think this fear is unfounded, I must relate a story about two things that happened in church recently.

There was an opportunity for parishioners to join in “centering prayer“.  I thought it sounded great and joined the group on their first “sit”.  To me, everything about centering prayer was what I had learned about meditation.  There was one person in the group who was adamant (and I don’t think that’s a strong enough word) that this wasn’t meditation at all, and he tried to throw some theology in behind it to back up his opinion.  I still say that if you strip away all the trappings…it’s meditation.

The second story is about a person who was coming in to the parish to lead a workshop on yoga.  There wasn’t anything religious about her presentation from what I could tell – it was just about using yoga techniques to help center you in both mind and body.  The person who was organizing this workshop got up on two consecutive Sundays to try to get people to sign up.  She stressed both times that it was not some other religion that was being practiced so no one had to worry.

So, I see fear from the Christians, and I don’t know the Buddhists (or enough about Buddhism to be secure in it) yet, and I was afraid of what would happen when the two met.

During today’s OMC scheduled meditation session, it suddenly hit me.  It’s not about Christianity, or Buddhism, or Facebook, or Twitter, or “real life”, or “online life”.  It’s about ego.  My ego was getting in the way of me being who I am.  This is the way I am experiencing the universe, and the way the universe is experiencing me right now.  At this moment.

And this moment will be gone immediately to be replaced by another moment and another way of experiencing.  It’s time to let go and be.

I joined the OMC Facebook group.