The difficult thing about practice isn’t learning to sit for an hour, or for a weekend, as hard as those things are. The difficult thing is to pay attention to what is happening right here and now. People try so many things to find fulfillment, even spiritual fulfillment; they run around exhausting themselves. What you need to do is look into your mind, which is itself a space, in fact an infinite space.
A lot of us have an image of how we’ll be when we’re advanced in this practice, utterly present, free from clinging, anger, confusion. We also have an image of how we are now, which is far from that ideal. This practice is beyond such images altogether. It sees exactly how things are when you do have attachments, when you’re feeling anger, even when you have an image of yourself. It doesn’t envision a way you should be. It just examines how you are in this moment.
when we become disconnected, when we become disregulated, when we become disinterested……
inquiry for today~ what is this epidemic of fear? this fear of vulnerability?
Our vision becomes very narrow when we need things to b a certain way and cannot accept things the way they actually are. Denial functions almost as a kind of narcotic, so that vital parts of our lives end up missing.
It is fear of pain that provokes and sustains this splitting off of parts of ourselves. To avoid feeling pain, we shut out crucial portions of awareness, even though this closing off, this internal separation, is deadening. Sometimes as individuals, or as members of a group, we may sacrifice the truth in order to secure our identity, or preserve a sense of belonging. Anything that threatens this gives rise to fear and anxiety, so we deny, we cut off our feelings. The end result of this pattern is dehumanization. As we lose touch with our inner life, we become dependent on the shifting winds of external change for a sense of who we are, what we care about, and what we value. The fear of pain that we tried to escape becomes, in fact, our constant companion.