Practices and talks as distractions

 

Anything can be used as a distraction, a way to escape noticing what we really are – that which already allows experience as it is.

And that includes anything that we label spiritual, such as talks and practices.

I may listen to a spiritual talk while going for a walk or before falling asleep at night, and notice a slight compulsion to do so. A slight resistance to allow experience as it is. Listening to a talk becomes an escape from noticing what is here in experience, including physical pain or certain emotions or images surfacing.

I may also engage in different practices for the same reason, to deal with or distract attention away from certain experiences such as pain, emotions or images, and also to change experience away from what is currently here.

When I look more closely, I see that listening to talks and engaging in practices inevitably is a way to manipulate experience. It may be very helpful for a while. After all, I manipulate experience anyway so why not shift it into a more helpful manipulation.

But it is also good to notice the manipulation behind it. I may notice what happens when I try to manipulate experience through distraction or changing the content of experience. I may notice that which already allows experience as it is, and see if that is what I really am.

I may consciously allow experience as it is, in simplicity, meet it as an innocent child with curiosity and kindness, including any intention for experience to change. Welcoming in that which I try to escape, as it is, with quiet curiosity and kindness. Find a soft docking with that which previously was avoided.

I may also notice a few other things about resistance and allowing experience.

When I try to escape certain experiences, it appears to work in a limited way, but not really. The experience is still here, waiting to be seen, loved and appreciated, as it is, for what it is. It may appear to go away for a while, but it will return – either triggered by events and circumstances, or surfacing on its own when there are fewer distractions, such as at night or during retreat.

Also, ironically enough, resistance is what creates the discomfort I try to escape, and also what creates the appearance of what I try to escape.

Trying to escape experience is futile. It is a constant struggle with what is, and this struggle is inherently uncomfortable.

Resistance also solidifies experience. It makes it look more real, substantial, clear cut, easily labeled, and creates the appearance of what I try to escape.

In contrast, allowing experience as is, with kindness and heart, is the end of the discomfort of struggle, and it reveals experience as inherently insubstantial, ephemeral, a quiet mystery, not anything that can be easily labeled.

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outline….

  • tools and talks as distractions
    • tools (inquiry questions etc.)
    • instead, simplicity of being w. experience

……………..

Anything can be used as a distraction, a way to escape noticing what we really are – that which already allows experience as it is.

And that includes anything that we label spiritual, such as talks and practices.

I may listen to a spiritual talk while going for a walk or before falling asleep at night, and notice a slight compulsion to do so. A slight resistance to allow experience as it is. Listening to a talk becomes an escape from noticing what is here in experience, including physical pain or certain emotions or images surfacing.

I may also engage in different practices for the same reason, to distract attention away from certain experiences such as pain, emotions or images, and also to shift experience away from what is currently here.

When I look more closely, I see that listening to talks and engaging in practices inevitably is a way to manipulate experience. It may be very helpful for a while. After all, I manipulate experience anyway so why not shift it into a more helpful manipulation.

But at some point, it is good to notice the manipulation behind it. And instead allow experience just as it is, in simplicity, meet it as an innocent child with curiosity and kindness, including any intention for experience to change. Welcoming in that which I try to escape, as it is, with quiet curiosity and kindness.

And maybe even notice that all the time I tried to escape certain experienes, it never really worked. It is still here, waiting to be seen, loved, appreciated, just as it is, for what it is.

I may even notice that trying to escape experience not only creates the discomfort I try to escape, but also the appearance I try to escape.

Resistance solidifies experience, makes it look more real, substantial, clear cut, easily labeled. Allowing it as is, with kindness and heart, reveals experience as insubstantial, ephemeral, a quiet mystery, not anything I can easily label.

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