Ride the Waves

“Who am I? Who are you, God?”

Richard Rohr

“When we reflect on how many of our actions are driven by custom, superstition, and dogma, we see that we allow others to define our values and that our priorities are often set by them. This self-reflection brings us to the realization that we are victims of our conditioning.”

The Secret of the Yoga Sutra; Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

Who am I? Really, who am I?

Richard Rohr offered this question after each of his daily reflections a couple weeks back. It has stuck within me such that each day, the question rolls through me like a ping pong ball being batted all over inside of me.

Then I read this thought from Pandit Rajmani Tingunait: “we are victims of our conditioning”.


Much of my 17 years of recovery has been spent taking responsibility for my addiction rather than blaming other people and circumstances. I am responsible for my recovery. I am responsible to surrender to my Higher Power for the serenity, courage and wisdom to accept addiction as a source of growth and grace.

After these years of fellowship and reading of the experience, strength and hope of the 12 steps, I am sober of mind, body and Spirit. How am I then a victim of conditioning?????

Does anyone remember the old pin ball machines? Recall that steel ball bouncing from post to post with all the lights, bells, and buzzers? How about memories of being tossed around in a boat from large waves of raging waters? That’s how I am feeling right now.


I’ll become still.

I’ll become aware of my breath.

I’ll relax.

I’ll focus on breath in and out of my nose.

I’ll come inside of myself.

Who is there?

The voice of quiet.

The awareness of Higher Power.


At this moment, I pause for self-study. Yes, I am a victim of the conditioning of years of religious education from churches, Native American elders, yoga instructors, and authors. Yet there is more. There is a growing realization that I am more than all of this.

So now what?

This is a growing awareness born of meditation and the practice of our Spiritual principles of non-attachment (vairagya) and practice (abhyasa). There is the mindfulness of the proliferation of ping pong balls and pin ball machines. It is also the growing practice of mindfulness, meditation, and stillness. There is a growing will to rest and know that growth is happening; to rest and know God; to rest and to be. Growth is being in the presence of each of you, and our Creation.

Who am I?

Yes, I am a victim of conditioning. However, the conditions are growing and changing and evolving and transforming. The conditions are growing more and more deeply within. The growth is in cycles of ever changing intensities, vagueness and clarity. There is a strengthening appreciation of the need for our shared pain, healing and celebration.

Today, I celebrate the mindfulness of the hope of our journey. I celebrate beside waters that are becoming restful. We ride the waves together.


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