Identification is the major drain in our lives.

Learning to spot this is very important. We know we are in identification when we find ourselves doing something in such a way that it is done in an attempt to show or prove or express ourselves.

Identification works with an air of self-importance. There’s an urgency that attaches to identification. Identification suffers from an inability to let go. This is useless and counter-productive to our spiritual life.

Watch and spot identification and then let it go.

It is hard to see the moment we move from being present to not being present. Identification hides in us; but identification can be seen in a certain rigidity of the body. We can see it in our tone of voice.

We can’t express ourselves by trying to express ourselves. Letting go of identification allows our real, authentic self to emerge.

When we are in the “false self” our timing is off; we have gained only one part. The false self believes, “I need my needs to be met.” This will affect our pace and destroy harmony.

When we are identified we are locked into stereotypes. Martha in the Mary and Martha story – commentaries set in. We fall into judgment and violence: “Make her help me.” We get lost in our likes and dislikes and our daydreams.

Identification drains spiritual attention. We lose the attention of the heart. Mindfulness vanishes.

With no attention, we cannot draw energy from the Source. We lose touch with the reservoir of inner attention.

When we relax our body it is easier to see and let go of identification.

Don’t underestimate the power of merely seeing something, seeing and enduring. Be persistent in the seeing.

We need to spend part of every day when we consciously tell ourselves, “This is not important.”

Benedictine spirituality asks: Can we draw energy from our work itself?

Can we let go of the task? Getting the task done is not the point.

Things will fit when identification is not involved.

Freedom is letting go of all the stones of self-identification now.

This has nothing to do with self-esteem.

Spiritual transformation can only occur in the NOW.

thlipsis” is the path of purification by “friction”. Wherever two or three are gathered together irritation will be in their midst. Irritation splits and polarizes but it can also polish like a diamond.

Our afflictive emotions are accompanied by lots of commentary which keeps the pot boiling.

We will move into a deeper receptivity to God when we are able to back identification out.

Benedictine spirituality says that the outward expression of negativity is not helpful. We may not have to vent our boiling pot. It may be possible simply to turn the heat down.

The goal in spiritual practice is to transcend negativity and receive grace.

Our real desire is to no longer be a victim of our reactivity.

You can drop your thought, let go of the commentary; this is something we can control.

In psychotherapy it is the “I” that is doing the work. In transformational spirituality it is the God-self that acts out of God’s mercy.

The gift of God becomes our own life. At the deepest inner root God and you are united.

Death gives us a different perspective on life. We need to learn to stay in the presence of death’s reality.

We are eternal creatures passing through time.

Benedictine spirituality is not a philosophy. It is a way of living. Start with the path. This changes the way we see. Then the values begin to get embodied.

We need to learn to see the difference between what is essential and what is just interesting.

Notice how little it takes to make life go well.

We are in trouble when our possessions begin to own us. We need to empty the stage for compassion and creativity to emerge.

We watch the “I needs”. We hold something dearly but without clinging.

Commit yourself to a life of growth. Accept personal accountability. What does growth mean for me?

We prune the fruit tree to allow the tree to bear fruit.

Nothing helpful originates in the intellect.

We awaken the heart by meditation, by balance, by gardening, by paying attention.

It takes time for commitment to do its work. Our commitment keeps us hanging in there.

Life is a purification process.