Question: The past keeps coming into my thoughts when situations arise that bring rehearsed doom and gloom feelings that hamper the chance for success in the present. What do I do in that moment? Meditate? Pray? Try to think of another more pleasant time? I have trouble and fear with all of this. What is the mind to do at this point to overcome the present problem?
Answer: The great axiom in all such cases — that answers all questions arising up from out of them — is that resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance. This means that resistance — wishing the fear (or whatever) would go away — doesn’t actually create the distance we imagine it will between us and the suffering we want gone; resistance makes real what would be otherwise transformed by our quiet awareness of it, so instead of breaking free, we further encapsulate ourselves in that pain. The task is to see (which you will, if you persist with your wish to be free) that we are what we don’t want at that moment through an unconscious act of becoming identified with the negative state. We can’t escape these troublesome parts of ourselves; we can only outgrow them, like a child that loses interest in a favorite pair of shoes that are no longer comfortable to wear.
Here are five reasons why the interior work of remembering yourself should always come first:
1. An unattended mind is the breeding ground of self-defeat.
2. The temptation to be self-degrading can only be dropped by seeing the secret self-love in it. (Then, instead of looking down on yourself, you can begin to learn what it means — and what it costs — to look up and away from this false sense of self.)
3. Conscious efforts are always rewarded with increased consciousness.
4. Despite temporary manifestations, manipulated for the sake of appearances, you can’t treat any other human being any differently from the way you treat yourself.
5. Wasted energies are the same as lost opportunities.
To see the beauty in mother nature is to know some of this beauty in yourself. To awaken and see the perfect order of life, its wholeness and goodness, is to receive title to this eternal truth and to be given a measure of its perfect peace.
In this podcast, Guy Finley talks about what it would mean for us to let real life sound its essential notes within us without the unnecessary dissonance of our resistance.
Click here to listen to this podcast “Just Let the Music Play”
Talk notes: Why do we like music? We like music because it stirs something inside of us. This means that, in the sounding of the music, it brings by its very existence a request to the ears that hear it. What is the request that music makes? The request is for a response, and we cannot separate our response to the music from the change that takes place within us as we respond.
The reason that we love music is because, through its “touch”, we are consenting to be changed. The sound acts upon us in order to produce a pleasurable response, and for the love of that “sound” we are transformed for the moment. Similarly, life itself is request, response, and change. However, there is something that lives within us that, while it agrees to be changed by pleasant music, rejects anything that is stirred within us that it doesn’t consider to be a pleasurable sensation.
Usually all we do is measure everything that takes place according to our personal demands. But if we can enter into a broader relationship with life for a moment, we can see that while something might happen to us that we would not prefer, that event may be exactly what someone else needs to have happen in order to learn about this process of request, response, and change.
What if, instead of rejecting moments that we do not like, we met them with the same open heart as we do the music that we love? What would happen to us? We would start to see that there is no sound that plays in us that is not part of a broader plan. It is this Divine sound that ultimately can perfect us if we would just let the music play.