'We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing for a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can't do that….
I have been watching myself avoid meditation lately. Each time I sit, my eyes well up and I feel this incredible sadness. I avoid it, I run from it, I make excuses that I am too busy. I now see what I am doing…I am avoiding sitting with the pain of whatever wants to be seen. The sadness has no content, so it had me very confused. Today, I feel invited to sit with it…sit and face myself.
Being busy is tricky. We set up our life so we are busy. I do this to myself; this is one of my biggest obstacles. I get excited about things and agree to do things three months from now. But when the time comes I realize it is not a good idea because I can’t do it properly, because I have so much else going on. But I have no choice. I have to go through with it. “God, you idiot, how could you do that!” But getting angry
doesn’t help, because there I am and I’ve got a 16-hour day I have to get through.
Unless you viciously carve out time to work on yourself it’s not going to happen. You have to be brutal about it, actually. If your mind is always busy then you have no sense of the world you live in. Because there is no communication, there is no space within which to see what we are doing. We will end up destroying our lives, and you may not realize what you have given up until you are on your deathbed. By being busy you are basically giving away your human existence.
One of the things about being busy is that it is a un-examined behavior. It’s habitual.
Although the road is never ending
take a step and keep walking,
do not look fearfully into the distance…
On this path let the heart be your guide
for the body is hesitant and full of fear.
If we could not be bought by praise or defeated by criticism, we would have incredible strength. We would be extraordinarily free, there would be no more unnecessary hopes and fears, sweat and blood and emotional reactions. We would finally be able to practice “I don’t give a damn.” Free from chasing after, and avoiding other people’s acceptance and rejection, we would be able to appreciate what we have in the present moment.
If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to meditate.
- Ajahn Chah
Come home to yourself. Observe yourself. That’s why I said earlier that self-observation is such a delightful and extraordinary thing. After a while you don’t have to make any effort, because, as illusions begin to crumble, you begin to know things that cannot be described. It’s called happiness. Everything changes and you become addicted to awareness.
- Anthony de Mello
Who determines what it means to be a success? This stupid society! The main preoccupation of society is to keep society sick! And the sooner you realize that, the better. Sick, every one of them. They are loony, they’re crazy. You became president of the lunatic asylum and you’re proud of it even though it means nothing. Being president of a corporation has nothing to do with being a success in life. Having a lot of money has nothing to do with being a success in life. You’re a success in life when you wake up! Then you don’t have to apologize to anyone, you don’t have to explain anything to anyone, you don’t give a damn what anybody thinks about you or what anybody says about you. You have no worries; you’re happy. That’s what I call being a success. Having a good job or being famous or having a great reputation has absolutely nothing to do with happiness or success. Nothing! It is totally irrelevant. All he’s really worried about is what his children will think about him, what the neighbors will think about him, what his wife will think about him. He should have become famous. Our society and culture drill that into our heads day and night. People who made it! Made what?! Made asses of themselves. Because they drained all their energy getting something that was worthless. They’re frightened and confused, they are puppets like the rest. Look at them strutting across the stage. Look how upset they get if they have a stain on their shirt. Do you call that a success? Look at how frightened they are at the prospect they might not be reelected. Do you call that a success? They are controlled, so manipulated. They are unhappy people, they are miserable people. They don’t enjoy life. They are constantly tense and anxious. Do you call that human? And do you know why that happens? Only one reason: They identified with some label. They identified the “I” with their money or their job or their profession. That was their error.
- Anthony de Mello
"When we start out on a spiritual path we often have ideals we think we’re supposed to live up to. We feel we’re supposed to be better than we are in some way. But with this practice you take yourself completely as you are. Then ironically, taking in pain - breathing it in for yourself and all others in the same boat as you are - heightens your awareness of exactly where you’re stuck."
- Pema Chodron