After having a first glimpse of what Unique Self is and why it is important you probably understand that it only means something in your life if you embody it. And while reading and listening to a dharma is a practice in and of itself there are many more practices that you can engage in order to awaken your Unique Self.
To make it easy for yourself you can take one of our online courses or visit our live events. That’s the best way of learning and practicing with the guidance of an experienced teacher and the intimacy of a community.
Yet, on this site we also offer tons of free material to give you a kick-start into awakening your Unique Self.
- 1 Here is a first practice to get a sense of your Unique Self:
- 2 Practice 2: Every Detour is the Destination (By Tom Goddard and Marc Gafni)
- 3 Practice 3: “Open, Not Closed” Meditation
- 4 Practice 4: Listening to Soul Print Hints
- 5 Practice 5: Self-Love
- 6 Practice 6: Perspective-Taking
- 7 Practice 7: Chant as a Practice of Fullness
- 8 Practice 8: Prayer as Pointing-Out Instruction for God
- 9 Further Practices: Wake up, Grow up, Show up, Lighten up, Open up, and Discern between Unique Self and Ego
Here is a first practice to get a sense of your Unique Self:
Sit down with a pen and paper in front of you:
- Start by getting a feeling for yourself, for the quality of your uniqueness, the special taste of your essence.
- Make a list with 5 columns. List:
- 3 unique pleasures
- 3 things I would do today even if I was not paid for them
- 3 things I enjoyed doing when I was young that I forgot because they didn’t fit in (if you can’t remember, ask a couple of friends who knew you back then)
- 3 unique talents you possess in your own view
- 3 unique needs in my circle of influence that are real and substantive
- Recognize the connections: Your Unique Self is precisely where your unique pleasures, your unique talents, your unique gifts meet the world’s needs.
Listen to this audio interview of Marc Gafni to Unleash the Symphonic Creativity of Your Unique Self.
Practice 2: Every Detour is the Destination (By Tom Goddard and Marc Gafni)
Most, if not all, of us have chapters in our lives that feel like detours, or worse. A bad job, a nightmare relationship, a bout with drink, a regrettable move — sometimes all at once! Such times are characterized by anguish, or anger, or shame, or desperation — again, sometimes all at once.
Perhaps now is one such time. Perhaps a dominant thought these days is “how do I get out of this and move on to a better place?”
Perhaps not. Maybe this is a good time, with only an occasional look back at a particularly bad detour, a reminiscence tinged with shame or remorse. If we can tell the story of such a time, we tell it with justifiable anger or sadness.
Either way, whether the detours are in the rear view mirror or squarely in the here and now, our common reaction is to push them away from our experience. Life would be, or would have been, better without the detour.
But that’s just one level of understanding, and not necessarily the only one, or the “true” one. On one level of consciousness, at the level of separate self ego, it’s true. On a higher level of consciousness, you can hold this at a deeper level. At this higher, or deeper level of consciousness, you can behold the amazing realization that each such detour, no matter how painful, is or was essential to the unfolding, the realization, of my Unique Self.
Every detour is a destination. To know that every detour is a destination is the first step in turning your fate into your destiny.
Practice 3: “Open, Not Closed” Meditation
This audio wisdom meditation with Dr. Marc Gafni comes from Week 7 of the Awakening Your Unique Self 10-Week Telecourse, themed “Unique Self: A Paradigm Shift in Loving.” This beautiful meditation, created by Dr. Marc for the course, takes us into the embodied taste of our own openings and closings, teaching us to recognize each moment and our relationship to it. In this meditation, Dr. Marc says, “Your true destiny unfolds freely when you live every moment open as Unique Self and shine as your unique offering of outrageous love.” So, to become Unique and Outrageous Lovers, we can learn to recognize how love is a “perception-identification complex,” which allows us to see with God’s eyes. In living from an open rather than closed place, we access our purpose and greatest offerings of love.
Please sit back, relax, and prepare to experience the tastes of living open as love as part of this Wisdom for Your Week offering.
Practice 4: Listening to Soul Print Hints
By Dr. Marc Gafni, From The Erotic and the Holy
In truth every slice of reality in the holographic universe contains all of wisdom. The true Artisan draws wisdom and inspiration from a reality rich and replete in meaning. The world is filled with Soul Print hints. It may be the lyrics of a song, a sign on a building, an old friend you meet after years of not seeing each other, or a book that grabs your attention and demands to be read.
Practice 5: Self-Love
From The Mystery of Love by Dr. Marc Gafni
Of course, to remind another of their full beauty you have to be fully aware of your own. The Baal Shem Tov has a wonderful teaching on the biblical mandate “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” First it is a statement of fact–you love your neighbor precisely as much as you love yourself. For in the end, you can only perceive another’s greatness if you have glimpsed and believe in your own. Self-love is self-perception.
Practice 6: Perspective-Taking
You can practice looking at the world from different perspective. By doing that you become less attached to those perspectives that you might have especially identified with and get a more complete view on yourself, others and the world.
Practice 7: Chant as a Practice of Fullness
In this short introductory video for this week’s wisdom of our week feature, Dr. Marc Gafni introduces us to the ways that chant is a practice that enacts, invokes, and accesses the Enlightenment of Fullness. The Enlightenment of Fullness is a term he coined in 2009-2010 to describe an emergent property of World Spirituality. Here, he introduces chant by describing the parallels between it and classical silent meditative forms. Meditation is a practice of emptiness that frees us from the conceptual mind, liberates us from ego, and grounds us in True Self. The Enlightenment of Fullness—accessed through chant—emerges out of the ground of emptiness and the ground of being. However, in the end, as Marc says here, both the emptiness and fullness are one.
Practice 8: Prayer as Pointing-Out Instruction for God
by Marc Gafni
We are all despearate for communion. It is what makes our lives worth living. Communion is the movement from loneliness to loving. It is the experience of being held and received.
We are all systematically mis-recognized. To be recognized is to be seen. To be seen is to be loved. To be love is to be in communion. It is only when we are seen that we are called to the fullness of our glimmering beauty as unique incarnations of the the divine treasure. It is only when we are seen that we feel moved the personal evolutionary impulse that lives in us to give the unique gifts that are only ours to give and that are desperately desired by the all that is.
To be in communion is to know that Your deed is God’s need. It is the realization of communion that gives us joy and calls us to evolutionary responsibility.
Further Practices: Wake up, Grow up, Show up, Lighten up, Open up, and Discern between Unique Self and Ego
For more about the basic practices for World Spirituality and Awakening Your Unique Self, see this page on World Spirituality Practice.
In all our practices as well as in daily life it is essential to discern between Ego and Unique Self. In his book Your Unique Self, Dr. Marc Gafni has written about 25 Distinctions between Ego and Unique Self. Read more about them in a Blog-Series with added inquiries and practices. This Series is soon to become an E-Book.