The idea that I don’t need to know how to solve a problem, especially with my mind, is quite radical.
I always believed that in the end, I would be able to solve any major problem (or die trying)!
I just needed to try hard enough, keep looking, consult the experts, study the problem, and hunt down the answer.
Recently I did The Work with a man who felt suicidal, depressed and angry.
He said “I’ve felt this way for so many years, I don’t know what it’s like NOT to feel like this.”
Almost all the participants in Eating Peace (the teleclass that just started) expressed deep, profound discouragement in how long they have suffered with this whole food and eating dilemma.
Here is the way that voice speaks who believes you have a terrible problem….and therefore, you better solve it:
- if I just figured out the missing key, I’d get this
- that other approach may have worked for her, but not for me
- maybe there’s no solution for me….that’s so depressing
- I hate hate hate this condition
- there must be something wrong with me
- I’ve tried everything, to no avail
Here’s the thing.
Feeling absolutely horrendous about something…like so bad you want to crawl under a rock, or die…is a really, really trapped place.
You can’t see anything positive about your situation. Nada.
When I went to a meditation retreat with Adyashanti for the first time, I approached the microphone with a question.
When I got up there, I couldn’t really remember my question.
I said “I’ve tried everything…..” and then instead of listing out all the things I had tried, in an effort to understand life, I choked up and started crying.
Adyashanti said “congratulations”.
Part of me wanted to say…“wait, you don’t understand….”
But a little light began to glow, with the awareness of how strongly I had held on to the belief that I will solve this LIFE problem (I will understand it clearly) AND that there WAS a terrible problem.
Who would you be without the thought that you have a terrible problem……a devastating, unsolvable problem that you will never be able to live with happily?
You don’t have to have a solution, there’s nothing else required, there’s nothing missing….only no thought that you actually have a problem.
What if trying to solve it has maybe fueled it, or made it worse, or you’ve been using the mind to solve something that it can’t?
Who would you be without the thought that you need to know what to do, right in this moment, today?
I get this start-from-scratch feeling, but not in the mind. More like this is a fresh moment, now.
I notice anxiety, sadness, memories, pictures from my past, feelings and energy moving.
But that is not all that is here. There is something watching, being here, noticing everything without judgment.
“Your way out is to just notice who’s noticing. It’s really that simple…..Be an explorer, witness it. And then it will go.” ~ Michael Singer
I turn the thoughts around and try them on, see if they could be as true or truer:
- if I just felt there was nothing missing inside me, I’d get this: I can do this, I can wait, sit, breathe
- what is here can work for me, I can notice what I’m drawn to: I can be kind to myself, see what draws my attention, feel my intuition
- maybe there is solution for me….that’s so exciting: this could be just as true, or truer
- I love love love this condition: odd, but what does this condition give me (depression, addiction, self-hatred)? Is there any advantage? Independence? Autonomy? Protection?
- there must be something right with me: list them. For me, I love my mind, my perseverance, my capacity to love
- I’ve tried everything, to no avail—congratulations
When I stop fighting this situation, this condition, then I can relax.
I don’t have to quick go eat, or quick get that done, or feel so resistant, or eradicate depression.
“In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added. In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped. Less and less do you need to force things, until finally you arrive at non-action. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way. It can’t be gained by interfering.” ~ Tao Te Ching #48
With love, Grace