One Big Funhouse!

Our yearnings in the external world can teach us about our yearnings in the inner world, the world that may be harder to perceive. Indeed, it is useful to think of one aspect of the material world as "one big funhouse" (as a friend of mine puts it), filled with reflections of our selves.

Of course, one of the aspects of a funhouse is that the mirrors often reflect a distorted image. Yet, even the distorted mirrors offer clues.

I visit Boulder, and feel my yearning for the spaciousness of the Rocky Mountains. If I listen and feel very carefully, I can feel behind that yearning a richer, deeper version, the yearning to know myself as spacious.

I yearn for a sweet naval orange. If I listen and feel very carefully, can feel behind that yearning a richer, deeper version, the yearning to know my own being as delicious and filled with pleasure.

Even the yearnings that seem twisted products of our egoic fears can be seen as merely distorted reflections of our being, giving us clues to the occluded beauty that we are.

Putting on a fine suit, dress shirt with French cuffs, matching tie and pocket square, and glistening dress shoes, I yearn to be seen as a successful, skilled man, an important being. If I pause, and listen particularly carefully to such a yearning, I can feel the yearning to know the glory of my Unique Self, that shimmering expression of God, evolving Love in the world as I evolve in my loving.

So the practice is this: start paying attention to your yearnings, and do so without judgment. All your yearnings are welcome here. See if you can make a list of them.

Then, take one yearning from your list, use whatever skills you have to calm your mind and find a state of equanimity, and imagine holding that yearning very gently. With a curious heart, start asking the subtle questions, like "for what do you really yearn?", or "when did you first arise?"

See if you can detect the occlusion, the distortion in the mirror, as it were, in this reflection. If we can see the distortion, we may be able to translate the image to see the undistorted view of Unique Self.

In this state, you may hear the deeper yearnings of your True, Unique Heart.

[The Unique Self enlightenment teaching originates with Dr. Marc Gafni.  It appears originally in his 2001 book Soul Prints. It appears in numerous recordings of his oral teachings found on and It also appears in a scholarly journal edited by Marc Gafni, JITP 6:1 Suny Press, 2010, and in Radical Kabbalah, Unique Self and Non Dual Humanism, The Teaching of Mordechai Lainer of Izbica, {forthcoming 2012 Integral Publishers} and in its most complete form in the classic text of Unique Self, Your Unique Self, The Democratization of Enlightenment {2012 Integral Publishers}. Dr. Goddard and Dr. Gafni are co-authoring a World Spirituality Practice Guide, due to be published in 2014.]