Common sense use of tools

When we use tools in daily life, we use a good deal of common sense.

If a particular tool works for a specific task, we continue using it.

If it doesn’t seem to work, we explore alternatives – often with help from someone who is more familiar with it than we are. We may find another way of using the same tool, or we may try another tool and see if that works better.

And the same is a good approach to how we use tools for healing, maturing and awakening.

If it doesn’t seem to work, it doesn’t make sense to continue using it the same way – or with more effort! – and expect a different result.

Instead, I can ask from help from someone I trust who has more experience in the area, and either try different ways of using it, or try a different tool.

For myself, I notice that the tools that seem to work well for me had quite obvious and immediate results. And the ones that didn’t seem to work, either worked with clear results when I adjusted how I used it, or continued to not work so I eventually tried something else.

Of course, it is possible that there is an element of resistance here, but there is no need to push into resistance and continue using a particular tool that brings up resistance. There is a reason for resistance, and it is good to respect and listen to it. At the very least, I can listen to what it has to say, and investigate stories around it and find what is more honest for me. And I can also explore different ways to use the tool, or try another one.

This blog mentions many of the tools that for me had clear effects right away, and continues to deepen and unfold:

Process Work, Breema, Headless experiments, Big Mind process, stable attention practice, shikantaza, exploring sense fields, self-inquiry, The Work.


– in daily life, if a tool doesn’t work, see if it works if we use it differently – or try another one
– so also with health, well-being, self-inquiry – healing, maturing, awakening
– one pointer may be quick results, if works then most often obvious and immediate effects – and continues to deepen/unfold over time
– what about taking a too scattered approach, or acting on resistance?
— find what works and stay with it (along with other things that works)
— find another angle where the resistance is less or none (for instance The Work)



  • quick effects
    • notice effects quickly (one of the signs it works is quick effects)
    • and goes deeper over time
    • if not, see if can do it differently or try something else
    • (if doesn’t work, or resistance, then do it differently or try something else – find a better match)


Whenever I use a physical tool, and it doesn’t seem to work, I have a few different options.

I can continue using it as I have, maybe with more effort, and it will most likely continue to not work.

I can see if I can use it differently and get better results.

And I can try a different tool and see if it is more suited to the task.

And so it is with tools for healing, maturing and awakening as well.

When I look at the different tools that seem to work well for me – such as prayer, practice for stabilizing attention, shikantaza, exploring sense fields, The Work, self-inquiry, headless experiments – I see that they all have one thing in common. They have obvious and immediate effects, and there is a deepening and continuing unfolding over time.

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