There is an experience in spiritual practice and particularly in deep meditative practice that is a pivotal transformation that takes place within us. That is our death. More specifically, it is the death of the ego, our self-construct that believes we are separate from everything else. It is this ego that is the basis of all of our grasping and resistance to life, and therefore to have it die is equal to our full liberation from sorrow. But how does this occur?
Meditation or deep prolonged prayer allows us to reflect on an internal reality that is transcendent of our ego. At first, we think of ourselves as being the limited thing that appears to our minds when we think “I”. Even though it is just a thought, our strong identification with it and therefore emotional attachment to it makes it feel like if that dies or dissolves into a greater truth, that is feels like we ourselves are dying. We may even have physiological phenomena that is comparable to having a major shift. Imagine for all your life you identified with this one thing, and now its dissolving into seemingly the empty space of your mind. What a shock! However this dying process is not without an association with a deep sense of bliss and meaning that comes from reflection on the transcendent truth.
This bliss is what pushes through the knots of ego, slowly reducing its flames of falsehood to mere embers, and then putting it out with the abundant waters of the transcendent presence within. In theistic terms we die to God, we let go and let God, we become for and from him and and not for and from our own concepts. In cosmic terms, we allow ourselves to die to the universe, to be an expression of the universe and not merely our own limited personality. In these moments we are one with the universe, one with God, we are one with the transcendent, and we simply reflect in this state and allow the transcendent to do its work in us. When we come out the other side of this death, we are reborn in the transcendent, which was our true reality from the beginning, only we had been obscured by ignorance and ego. From this place, divine love and wisdom pour through us, allowing us to live our lives with grace and in harmony with everyone and everything. May you come to know the un-ending bliss of ego death, that you may be reborn in the transcendent and be a channel for light in the world.