Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Symptoms of Struggle while Sitting

For a peaceful meditation, we need not go to the mountains and streams. When thoughts are quieted down, fire itself is cool and refreshing. Poignant but misguided Vietnam War protest (

Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner-turmoil. Lately my meditation -- and the world at large, judging from the news headlines -- has been alternating between anguish and amazing peace. There are miserable realms inhabited, no doubt, by people who think too much. All that thinking means holding, and acting from, wrong-views.

Eckhart Tolle says, "If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn’t even know you are thinking. You would be like a dreamer who doesn’t know [s/he] is dreaming. When you know you are dreaming, you are awake within the dream."

Our hearts are exposed to turmoil, suffering, and harm. As the individual goes, so goes the world at large. And to that Eckhart adds: "To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for you inner state at any given moment. That means NOW." Pain isn't in the future. It's only now. It will only ever be now. There is, after all, no other time.

So inner-peace is possible, too, but only now. And it is possible for everyone right now. This could ruin the news and sales sectors. Fear drives us, attracts our attention, motivates our poor choice in actions. Who would we be without fighting?

Signs and Symptoms

  • Tendency to over-think based on fears, past experiences
  • Inability to enjoy the present moment
  • Heightened interest in judging other people
  • Heightened interest in judging self
  • Heightened interest in interpreting the actions of others
  • Heightened interest in conflict and confrontation
  • Inability to stop worrying
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of anguish
  • Disturbed feelings of separation from others and nature
  • Frequent grieving or feelings of being aggrieved
  • Increasing tendency to control and make things happen
  • Increased susceptibility to fear others and the uncontrollable urge to attack or escape the perceived danger

GOOD NEWS: If you experience one or all of these symptoms, your condition is curable. The cause is thinking; the external conditions just help you think and confirm it. Exposing yourself to more sitting (with less thinking) will help right away.

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