Life can seem miserable sometimes.
For some of us, it has seemed really miserable a lot of the time.
If and when life seems miserable there is incentive to do something differently.
Hence, we want practices. It seems reasonable; just do the right practices and you’ll get out of jail free. Eventually. Maybe. Hopefully.
But what practice? How can you know?
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And that’s where it get’s tricky. You can’t do all the practices. (I tried. I promise you, it’s not possible.)
So which will you do?
And how will you know when the practice is working?
It is a giant mess, actually.
Like a knot. A Gordian knot.
Most of the time we look for other solutions – more, better practices.
But I can tell you from my experience that none of the practices will solve the problem. None will get rid of the knot.
The practices just knot up the knot more, creating more urgency to solve it. Or they can lead to cynicism, which is another type of misery.
That can sound depressing. And it is as long as you insist that the knot must be undone, the problem solved.
But there is one thing that I have found that is highly effective in sorting everything out.
That one thing is to become aware of the infinite ways you try to solve the problem.
Not all in one fell swoop. Not to just get it over with and achieve a state of bliss.
Not to get rid of the problem or the ways you try to solve the problem
Just become curious. For its own sake. Pay attention.
It’s better than the chronic investment into problem solving.
You’ll still try to solve problems. You’ll still try to fix yourself and your life. And you’ll turn curiosity and paying attention into the new practice. Which won’t work.
But then you’ll see that too. And that’s it. Instantaneously the misery is seen not to be what you thought it was. So you’re instantaneously freed from what never bound you.
The discomfort won’t disappear. Nothing changes. But you see it differently. Just for an instant.