atrotlIn the triumphant picture of Lord Shiva dancing, the ego is trampled underfoot. The goal is egolessness. Selflessness. Shiva’s ‘ecstatic dance represents the bliss and the freedom the human is supposed to experience’ when that happens. ‘But I’m not sure,’ Flinders (author of At The Root Of This Longing) writes, ‘that [such] stories play well today. Not among women. For we are wary of selflessness.’ ‘Self-naughting’ or ‘vanquishing self-will’ cannot be avoided. Rather, it is ‘perhaps the bedrock spiritual discipline’ of meditation. (66) Flinders recommends that meditators talk to other Western women who have journeyed this path. Furthermore, ‘the loving self [and] the self that is loved are nowhere denied in the Buddhist tradition,’ she adds. ‘The middle way is finding a path, a way of being, that encompasses both these traditions.’ (70)

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