We come to practice because we have suffered enough. And yet “I can’t, I don’t want to,” or variations thereof, is a pattern I’ve seen again and again through the years when leading groups and writing responses in email classes. We find ourselves yearning not to suffer, while we continue to resist what would support us in moving towards freedom. Why? It occurs to me that this resistance to doing what supports us is what we want to tackle next in practice.
Practice offers us a lens through which we can examine suffering—what causes it, why it happens, how it happens. It gives us the tools to tap into our authentic nature and to experience being lived by Life – present, whole, and joyful.
“If I am suffering, it is because I am choosing something over ending suffering.” The problem is the illusory "I" that chooses. (Ultimately, there is no “I” and no “choosing.”) The “I” that resists is the same process as conditioning itself. “I” arises as resistance to threats to the beliefs and assumptions it must maintain so that it can continue to exist.
“Annatta: All things are without a self.” Until we disidentify, until we are willing to let go the belief that we are conditioning, that we are separate, resistance is an inevitable obstacle to practice.
That is the topic of the next book and the next email class. As Sangha, let’s explore choosing a life that is outside egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate and move from resistance to Loving Life.