Yogi, what does it truly mean to have love of self? Is it more than self-acceptance and always being undeniably yourself? Because I feel like I’ve achieved that yet it still feels like something is missing.

Yogi, what does it truly mean to have love of self? Is it more than self-acceptance and always being undeniably yourself? Because I feel like I’ve achieved that yet it still feels like something is missing.

wideyed-leaver asked: Yogi, what does it truly mean to have love of self? Is it more than self-acceptance and always being undeniably yourself? Because I feel like I’ve achieved that yet it still feels like something is missing.

When you talk of loving yourself or accepting yourself or always being yourself, you are conceiving and relating to yourself as if it were an object. Such an object is not yourself, it is solely the idea of who or what that self is.

The sum total of identifications you collect in order to comprise that idea of who you are is called the ego. The ego does not have its basis in maliciousness or pain, only mistaken confusion.

Put simply, the ego is the object that you mistakenly believe to be you. You can love a concept but a concept is not living consciousness in the way you are. A concept cannot exist without thought. Thought depends on consciousness. Consciousness does not depend on thought.

In order to love something, to accept something, to be something, there must be a subject who is doing those things and an object to which the action relates.

So, for example, when you talk about accepting yourself, who is doing the accepting? And what is being accepted?

The thing being accepted isn’t yourself. This is because you are already yourself. There is nothing else you have ever been or will be. You may be uncertain of who you are experiencing as a body-mind in this world or how people see your body-mind, but the one thing of which you can be certain, the very thing on which uncertainty depends, is that you exist. In order to be uncertain about who you are, you must have already intuited that you are.

So what we can accept or reject isn’t actually ourselves but rather the idea or concept we have of ourselves.

In that light, what becomes of self-love, self-acceptance, or being yourself?

The thing about love is that actually experiencing love means loving. The experience we have when others love us depends on how loving we are. Some may experience the love from others as securing, validating, or comforting. Whereas those who have felt loving know how it can urge you to do anything, overcome anything, regardless of your own need for security or comfort.

Perhaps then self-love is the love that comes from the self. Self-acceptance is the acceptance that comes from the self.

Who is that self? What is that existence, which is there already before the mind, before the emotions, before the body, and before the world are ever known?

If you want to love yourself, and therefore abide as the limitless source of love, if you want to accept yourself, and therefore accept the entirety of existence, if you want to be yourself, and therefore recognize what you have always been and will always be,

then you must cease conceiving and relating to yourself as if you were an object and know the living existence that you are.

Among many things I could recommend, a few are daily meditation, the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron, and playing with puppies.

Namaste 🙂 Much love.


joyful abandon



“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”

Pema Chodron (via thecalminside)

stay awake

“Not causing harm requires staying awake. Part of being awake is slowing down enough to notice what we say and do. The more we witness our emotional chain reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain. It becomes a way of life to stay awake, slow down, and notice.”

Pema Chödrön (via belovedlotus)

love and tenderness

Our capacity for love and tenderness ~ Pema Chödron


The next time you go out in the world, you might try this practice: directing your attention to people — in their cars, on the sidewalk, talking on their cell phones — just wish for them all to be happy and well. Without knowing anything about them, they can become very real, by regarding each of them personally and rejoicing in the comforts and pleasures that come their way. Each of us has this soft spot: a capacity for love and tenderness. But if we don’t encourage it, we can get pretty stubborn about remaining sour.

Pema Chödron

from the book “No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva”

standing on the ground

As adults, we begin to cultivate a sense of loving-kindness for ourselves — by ourselves, for ourselves. The whole process of meditation is one of creating that good ground, that cradle of loving-kindness where we actually are nurtured. What’s being nurtured is our confidence in our own wisdom, our own health, and our own courage, our own goodheartedness. We develop some sense that the way we are — the kind of personality that we have and the way we express life — is good, and that by being who we are completely and by totally accepting that and having respect for ourselves, we are standing on the ground of warriorship.

Pema Chödron

from the book “The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness”

the warrior’s world

Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.

Pema Chödron

from the book “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times”