July 25, 2015

The Mask: A Reflection and Meditation For Spiritual Awakening

Dr. Steve Taylor A special thanks to New World Library for sending a review copy of The Calm Center by Steve Taylor.

Don’t make yourself a mask to meet the world
a mask that plays your life so well
that’s so affable and entertaining
that you’re always the center of attention —
a mask you can’t let slip, even for a second,
in case your real self shows through
and the audience realizes that they’ve been tricked and their affection turns to ridicule.         

The mask makes life easier — there’s a storm of impressions, thoughts, and feelings that could confuse and overwhelm you but you can stand firm, with the mask protecting you, reflecting back the world like a cold metallic shield deflecting any pain that comes your way.

And it’s easier still when you don’t stand back and watch anymore
when you become the role you’re playing
and forget you were ever anyone else.

But the mask is like a child that never grows up
that will never be self-sufficient;
you have to keep feeding it with attention
and make sure it never meets silence or
solitude —
the two predators that threaten it.

And eventually the mask will crumble
when you can’t keep up the effort anymore
and collapse like an exhausted parent at the end of the day.

Then your real self will stumble free
stunned after such a long imprisonment
dazzled by the brightness of the sun
reeling from life’s complexity
naked and open to terror and delight.

And the world will trust you
the human race will welcome you
and slowly others will unmask themselves around you
as you feel yourself connecting to a deep nourishing flow
beyond the fragile separateness of masks —
the richness of your being, opening
to the richness of others’ beings, and of life itself
the wholeness of your being opening
to the wholeness of life itself.

From the book The Calm Center. Copyright © 2015 by Steve Taylor. Reprinted with permission from NewWorldLibrary.

About the author

Dr. Steve Taylor Dr Steve Taylor is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, and the author of several best-selling books on psychology and spirituality. For the last three years he has been included (this year at no. 31) in Mind, Body, Spirit magazine’s list of the ‘100 most spiritually influential living people.’ His books include Waking From Sleep, The Fall, Out of the Darkness, Back to Sanity, and his latest book The Meaning. His books have been published in 18 languages, while his articles and essays have been published in over 40 academic journals, magazines and newspapers.

He lectures on psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, and lives in Manchester, England. Visit www.stevenmtaylor.com for more information.

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