Now that I am meditating more consistently, I gravitate towards books about meditation, and usually these wind up being Buddhist in nature, because they’re such great sources for assistance in this long-term endeavor of taming my own mind.
However, and I’ve gone through this cycle a few times before, the more I read Buddhist texts or listen to Buddhist talks, something a little insidious begins to happen. Just the proximity to Buddhism creates a resonance within me that, despite the many helpful insights it offers, sets up a sense that, at heart, I am straying from what I know in my gut to be true. I can go only so far and no farther and still feel true to myself.
Looking at it more closely it’s the idea of linear time cause-and-effect that feels off to me. I see where it comes from, and I know that on one level, causality appears to function that way. But I also know that there’s no freedom in such thinking. It’s the view from the ground. I’m sure Buddhism transcends this view at some point, but not in books, perhaps.
We are each creating our own reality-experience, and this present moment is our point of power. We each have our own native, internal wisdom—the path that feels right for us. It’s truly a matter of sticking with it and giving it a chance to steep, to work, to deepen. Inherent in this native wisdom is the trust that if we need more information, it will appear.
I was watching a show about a young couple who live a subsistence lifestyle in a remote region of Alaska. She’s indigenous and he’s not. They were ice fishing, and after drilling out a few holes, he set up some clever commercially-manufactured rigs over the ice that would trip a spring and raise a flag if there was a bite, so he wouldn’t have to sit there jigging, and could go off and hunt something else. Efficient!
She, on the other hand, whittled down a short, strong piece of wood, tied a string to it and sat down by her ice hole contentedly, to fish the old fashioned way. She had no complaint with his methods, but she preferred the feel of jigging, the quiet solitude in beautiful surroundings and the relationship she was having with the fish and the lake.
I loved that. She didn’t compare, she just knew that what had always worked for her was good enough, so she stuck with it.
There is such great value in sticking with something that works and allowing it to become more and more skillful. Often, when we hit a crossroads at which our own innate understandings are about to deepen, there’s an increase of energy potential, which may feel similar to pressure or frustration.
At this point the ego, the established order of our human mind, likes to find a way to get rid of that beneficial energy buildup. We seek the new. The shopping-mind emerges. Maybe I could look out into the dream and find some new way of doing things, get some new understanding to add to my collection of facts. Maybe, since I’m not catching any fish, I should invest in some of those fancy contraptions with the springs and flags.
If we’re lucky, it won’t be too awfully long before the realization dawns that even though we might have picked up a few extra bells and whistles, we could have simply kept on track and had a little more patience.
It’s not a black-and-white situation. There’s a lot to be gained from following impulses and rummaging around in the dream. Sometimes it dishes up the exact right thing to take back to our own workshop of the mind. But the important thing is to remain your own authority, to trust your own gut feelings and to remain loyal to what you know, in your heart, to be true.