Eventually you will see that the real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes the problems.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
There is tragedy at all times in this world; universal and personal. And depending on our attachment to these events, we will experience more or less upset from them. It’s often suggested that we find our way to acceptance. But acceptance can be challenging. When we attempt it, we may find our mind at war with itself, or with the world. Either way, within ourselves we will be at the mercy of this war and the feelings of anger, resentment, fear or shame generated by it.
There is an easier way.
Acceptance only is necessary to the degree that we refuse to see what is in the world, and insist on seeing ‘what is’ in comparison to ‘what should be,’ or ‘what would be, if only _______,’ or the hundred other ways the mind has for avoiding the facts of life.
The truth we learn in meditation is that we are not the mind, nor are we the thoughts of this mind. We are something other. We are the one who listens to these thoughts.
Meditation allows us to transcend the thinking and settle into the truth that underlies all thought. Outside of meditation it is simply a choice, again and again, to remember this underlying truth and turn away from the unceasing natterings of the mind so that we may find this truth even with eyes open. Grounded in this truth we can begin to see the world as it is, rather than as this unruly thing that refuses to cooperate.
As we begin to see the world as it is, we can begin to make choices about our next right action from this place of what is. If something in the world needs to be changed, and it is in our power to change it, this will be clear. And all these other ‘problems’ that can cause us so much grief – the wrong-headed people, the greedy so and so’s, the lack of money or jobs, the weather – will become the landscape through which we walk with eyes and hearts open and our strengths available to us.
Today I will take in the world as it is, refusing to be caught up in the mental chatter that insists it should be different.
Tree Above Ramjhula, Rishikesh Uttarakhand, India