I’ve found it folks!
I’ve discovered it. True happiness. The way to eternal peace, contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment.
It’s so amazingly simple, and here it is:
That’s it! Just stop!!
Stop reflecting, contemplating, ruminating, analyzing, perpending, poring over, meditating upon.
Stop dwelling on, fixating on, fretting about, reviewing.
Just stop kicking shit around.
The amazing thing is that this requires nothing from you. You don’t have to be intelligent, or creative, or eat certain foods, look a certain way. You don’t have to wrap your legs around your head, prostrate at the feet of anyone; no purification is required. You don’t have to remember elaborate rules or rituals, retain and repeat mantras or codices, scriptures,or traditions. It requires no special experiences, higher states, visions or insights.
Most importantly, it requires no belief. You don’t have to take my word for it, or Jesus’ word for it, or Krishna’s, or Eckhart Tolle’s, or your mother’s, or even the most highly revered and respected spiritual teacher or leader you can imagine.
People have sat around thinking and come up with elaborate ideas, some which become really cool books, that we read and then sit around thinking about.
People have had wonderful elaborate experiences with lights and fireworks and metaphysical energies and spirits bouncing off their foreheads and then sat around thinking about these experiences, interpreting them, sharing these stories, and then we sit around thinking about them.
They are just stories.
Now, I’m not saying “stop thinking”. I’m not advising you to give up solving the math problem. I’m not suggesting you toss the term paper, or use “ennie meenie miney mo” to make your most important decisions, although that would really be fun. I’m not saying kill the mind, or your thoughts. Just don’t be a tool for your tool.
All I am saying is: the mind is like a computer, right? You tell your computer to open that excel file, look at the data, work with the data, and then close the excel file. After you leave the computer, it doesn’t sit there reminiscing about that excel file. It doesn’t try and figure out the motivations behind it, the effects of it; it doesn’t worry about whether the file is good enough or how the world will interpret it.
To the computer, the file is just there. That’s all.
I’m writing this blog. If I highlight everything on this page, and hit “delete”, what remains?
All that is required is one simple thing: just look.
I’ve been working with this, and I’ve discovered a few things.
1. It’s the simplest, most effective, most wonderfully available and accessible spiritual practice ever.
2. It is exceedingly difficult. Really, really difficult. In the words of my dear late Grandpa, it is “pert near” freakin’ impossible.
It is difficult because it is so simple.
Yet it is possible. Short moments of resting the endless stream of imagining by just looking right now, again and again, become automatic.
Over and over, again and again, whenever you remind yourself, simply stop and look. Wherever you are. At any time.
In this simple seeing, this simple noticing of our addiction to the stream of incessant chatter in the mind, something wonderful happens.
When attention is shifted from what is unreal (thoughts about the past or the future) to what is actual, what is happening right in this moment, without naming it, without thinking about it, a simple playfulness arises. A curiosity arises, like the spontaneous questioning of a child.
Wouldn’t you agree that the most profound insights, the most wonderful and helpful inventions, the clearest expressions of being are born from this playful, open, curiosity?
I notice- thoughts arise and dissolve. Some of them I am interested in, some I am not.
The thoughts I am not interested in, dissolve and are gone. The thoughts I am interested in, stick around and become “mine”. I make something of them. I take these unreal, insubstantial, fluid, fleeting pieces of nothing and I claim them.
They become “my” thoughts.
But when I stay focused on what is actual ,what is happening now, without naming, labeling, associating, creating stories, the reflecting mechanism of my mind collapses, and where are these thoughts?
In this direct seeing, where is the “Me”?
Stop and look.
It doesn’t take a slap in the face! Okay, maybe sometimes it does: