Friday, November 13, 2009

The Truth of Who Am I?

I knew something was up, last night, before I went to sleep. A dark cloud, with 'who am I?' question written all over, threatened to take over my earlier good mood. I woke up with a dream:
In Paris, wandering the streets in the Latin Quarter. Prad is with me. I am completely naked. He, at least, has a blanket over himself. We pass by some student housing, and get mocked by some of the young folks there. I want to hide and look for refuge inside a building. I know I can't stay, and need to come out eventually. I ask Prad to share his blanket with me, to hide my nakedness.
Yes, I have been feeling naked, a lot, lately. No handy persona to hide behind, any more:

Strangers ask, what do you do? I say, I am in transition. Been doing a lot of meditation. Taking time to discern what to do next. All true. Response seems to satisfy questioners. I am the one who's struggling. Wishing I could rush to an answer, quick. Yes, I am a social worker. Or, I am starting a nonprofit. Or, even more dramatic, I am becoming a nun . . .

Instead, I am to follow the path of the heart, that requires no less than complete authenticity. At present, the truth lies in not knowing what other role to play yet, beyond that of wife, spiritual seeker, and hospice volunteer. And in knowing fully naked self, moment to moment.


  1. Tweet response from @ratana_ :
    'I' is like stream of a river. You may call it Hudson, Nile, Mekong, etc just for lang.. Nothing fixed. Keep observing the change. @MindDeep

  2. That's the killer, isn't it? The deeper into the path we get, the question "who am I?" becomes more and more difficult to ask. Labels start getting stripped away. The statement "I am" is wrong almost as soon as the words slip through off your tongue.

    We're all naked under our labels.

  3. Killer indeed! yes, nothing stays on . . .

    Deep bow,


  4. Thanks for this post. We're at similar places, I think, in term of being in that "what's next" not knowing place. May you be blessed to stay with it all.

  5. I thank you, Nathan. Left a comment on your post you wrote in response to this one. Key challenge is how to reconcile demands of inner life with those of outer society. Reality is we cannot walk around naked. We need a persona in order to function and relate to others. Hence the blanket . . .

  6. The process of the path is definitely a difficult one. But don't worry, that stripped away feeling is just what happens when you open your eyes when it's bright outside. :)

  7. Thanks Ian, for the reassurance . . . This is why sangha, twangha, etc, is so important! Deep bow.

  8. Indeed. And a deep bow in return.