Life is Not a Problem – October 22 2020

In our age everything has to be a ‘problem.’ Ours is a time of anxiety because we have willed it to be so. Yet our anxiety is not imposed on us by force from outside. We impose it on our world and upon one another from within ourselves.

Thomas Merton

 

There are two ways we turn everything into a problem:

  1. We place our well-being, our sense of fulfillment, in the hands of something outside ourselves—money, approval, behavior of others—rather than finding it within ourselves. But approval can never be found ‘out there,’ only ever within; and
  2. We live in our ever-moving, ever-speculating mind, in our thoughts about the world, rather than in the world itself. The mind is a problem-solving machine. To a person with only a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. Likewise with the mind. From the perspective of the mind, everything is a problem that needs solving.

 

Meditation helps me to turn my attention in the direction of where fulfillment actually resides.

 

Present moment awareness—the practice of mindfulness—helps me to live in the flow of life, as the flow of life. When I live as the flow of life moving around me and through me, I begin to know myself as a process, rather than a problem. I become available to be an outlet for the happiness and fulfillment that I am discovering deep within through meditation. I make myself into an instrument that is able to engage in the joy of living that is my birthright, and my responsibility.

 

Today I will meditate twice, morning and evening, and during the hours between, I will insist on listening to the world rather than to my thoughts about the world.

Tree, Texas

 

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