Monday, August 25, 2014

Problems Are Self-Created

     Most problems are just a figment of our imagination...

     It is important to remember that our minds belong to us. So often we are misguided and mistaken in holding others responsible for what takes place in our own minds. Trust me, it's better not to have this kind of attitude and thinking. Surely we create many of our problems simply by the way in which we think about them. But we can also sit down next to our problems, become the problem, and work through it. In this way, it isn't really a problem at all. It's just what is, it's just what we're doing, just living life, doing what comes next, and living in each moment without attachment.

     The trick is keeping our minds empty, and we cannot achieve this without consistent practice or repeated action as I like to call it (including non-actions such as stillness etc). No person, place or thing can change us, but we can certainly change ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us won't do the work because most of us don't really want to change. Some of us might do a little work and only see limited results and say, 'See! That didn't work... I told you!', but this is not really doing the work anyway because we were expecting something from it, or expecting way too much.

     So we try to just to do the work, everyday, for the sake of doing it, because it's good for us and it's good for others. It also teaches us who we are, and when we understand ourselves perfectly, we can understand everything. As Shunryu Suzuki says, if we understand one thing completely, we understand everything. Working on ourselves gives us the power to deduce just about anything. It give us the ability to see things as they are. And as we get better and better, it all becomes so clear.

     Tibetan Buddhists and Native American tribes like the Navajo engage in the practice of sandpainting - painstakingly constructing beautiful, elaborate and intricate designs with colored sands only to destroy them when finished. The practice is performed and used for various healing ceremonies, to symbolize the concept of impermanence and the fleeting nature of physical life, or just simply to honor the process and the virtue of letting go, not holding on, not needing recognition, and perhaps not engaging in vain admiration.

      It's so easy to forget that the past and the future don't actually exist, so when we go there with our minds, we are in a sort of dissociated state, not in our bodies and not in reality, which is basically a form of torture. Don't visit the past or the future with your mind. Neither exist, so why go there? If we be where we are now and only focus on what we are doing right now, problems and worries essentially vanish, because there is no room for them in an empty mind that is living in the present moment.

     Don't worry, I fail at this all the time. I repeatedly state that what I know always exceeds my actual practice or the reality of my life. I often doubt whether I should be talking or writing at all. One thing I can promise you, though, is that if the anti-free speech powers that be were to suddenly delete this whole site, it wouldn't phase me at all. I am unaffected by this sort of loss. And believe me, not caring (in the healthy way) is pure freedom.

God, teach me how to let go...

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