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The Trouble with Looking Outside of Ourselves
Submitted by Lawrence Grecco on Mon, 1/16/2012, 10:59am
Trying to find a Buddha or enlightenment is like trying to grab space. Space has a name but no form. It’s not something you can pick up or put down. And you certainly can’t grab if. Beyond mind you’ll never see a Buddha. The Buddha is a product of the mind. Why look for a Buddha beyond this mind?
We are socialized to believe that in order to feel whole and complete, we need to look outside of ourselves. If we just read this book, take that class or find a spouse, somehow the persistent void that permeates much of our daily experience will be filled and we can finally be Happy. All of our problems will be solved and finally we can magically morph into the perfect version of ourselves.
Most people spend a good deal of their lives operating like this and few if any ever step off of the hamster wheel long enough to realize how futile it is to view life in this way.
It’s as if a change in material wealth, relationship status, weight, or physical attractiveness is that one thing standing between us and our Happiness. However the only thing standing between ourselves and our happiness is our mind and what it creates.
It’s the awareness of the process that ultimately frees us from it. Simply recognizing the particular stories, emotions, and thought patterns we engage in allows for some space in which all of this can be transformed. So instead of reacting in our usual, habitual way the next time we’re confronted with those familiar thoughts, we have more options. We can respond appropriately rather than impulsively. We don’t have to get carried away with anger, fear, jealousy, anxiety, or rage. When we experience those emotions we can just hang out with them and watch how they eventually subside without being their slave.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings be happy and know the true causes of happiness.
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