Your Original Face

Updated: Sep 28



For me the concept of ‘Original Face’ is not about how I look in the mirror but about internal perception of how I see myself, my authenticity. However, the term means much more than that. The term ‘Original Face’ comes from Japanese Zen Buddhism and points to the non-duality of subject and object, of no separation, basically how we are as very young children before we develop identities. There is no distinction between a baby and the world he or she is occupying.


Daito, an enlightened Zen Master who was very influential in establishing Japanese Zen Buddhism said “Thoughts can be compared to clouds. When clouds vanish, the moon appears. The moon of suchness is the Original Face. Thoughts are also like the fogging of a mirror. When you wipe away all condensation, a mirror reflects clearly. Quiet your thoughts and behold your Original Face before you were born!”


When we are being our original face, it is felt inwardly as a calm, peaceful, confidence in who we are and from the outside it is seen in much the same way as it is felt. We may still wear make up and jewellery, but it is from a different place that we wear it. I am much more at home in my own skin now, in my early fifties, than I was in my twenties or thirties.

Over ten years of meditation practice has certainly helped, but also recovery from burn out, chronic illness, food addiction and an eating disorder has helped me to really start to wear my original face, to feel my authenticity as this original face, or another way of describing it could be your ‘beingness,’ or your unchanging nature.


As I have found there is often golden nuggets of learning within our suffering and it can bring about an inner transformation, if we let it. Like a chrysalis effect, just like the caterpillar turns into the butterfly, we can use those challenging times to help us to transform into our potential.


I can’t speak more highly of the benefits of meditation and the positive impacts it can have on our health and wellbeing. However, to become aware of our beingness, our essential self, for most of us, meditation is a necessary tool. When we start to meditate, we naturally start to increase our awareness of ourselves, it is a way to get to know ourselves, so that we gradually start to become much more comfortable with who we are. We start to feel more authentic and the other qualities that come with that, calm, peace and confidence.


There are many ways of meditating, and even ten minutes a day will change your brain for the better and give you some of the many benefits associated with meditation, but if you are new to meditating and looking for a simple method, then Sophrology might be a good place to start.


Wishing you well on your meditation journey.


With warm wishes,

Carla






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