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Submitted by edoardoballerini on Thu, 8/25/2011, 11:00am
My mind is stuck. For roughly two years I’ve had the same plaguing thoughts at least once a day, with no relief around me. I consider a small miracle if I go a few hours without struggling with certain hurts and discomforts.
While I don’t think there’s a long-sleeved jacket out there with my name on it, it can feel at times as if I’m going mad. Why, I ask myself, do I keep coming back to something I don’t want to think about, has no real relevance in my life, and should have been dismissed long ago?
While listening to Gil Fronsdal give a talk on “papanca,” a Pali term that translates roughly to “a proliferation of thoughts,” it dawned on me that the thing itself was not the thing itself. And as I traced back my mental patterns over the years, I noted that in nearly any given time, there was some thing to get me stuck. But the specifics of it are like the water in the glass, not the glass that holds the water.
I confess that I found some small relief in this. By no means am I giddy about having to deal with the glass, but it made the water seems less relevant. The struggle is as much with the handling of the thought as the thought in its own right. It’s a basic problem, of course, but so, perhaps, is the solution.
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