To Thine Own Self Be True


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The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

                  —Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

Formal meditation practice continually encourages the practitioner into an ever-deepening look within. Like the burgeoning intimacy of a close relationship, anchoring into one’s being invites greater knowledge and understanding.

The more often we embody our moment-to-moment experience, the more we are inclined to trust our instincts and feelings. We are also less likely to berate ourselves for “mistakes” because we recognize they provide further insights into ourselves and the nature of things. This growing self-reliance increases confidence in our authority to govern our own lives. As a result, we are less dependent on the opinions of others to determine what is right for us. We become our own experts.

Contact with our inner-nature tunes us in to our inherent goodness and wisdom. Knowing this of ourselves we no longer feel the need to control or define ourselves in relationship to others. We also allow those around us greater space to be their own authority, because we recognize the goodness and wisdom within them, too.

We never have to look farther than within to find the best answers for ourselves. Mindfulness practices provide a comprehensive road map to this ever-present wisdom. It is up to us to take the time to cultivate a relationship with ourselves—it is, no doubt, the most important relationship we will ever have.