CUTTING THE ROOT OF SUFFERING

You may spend a lifetime — or even lifetimes — looking for what you think is missing, all the time missing what’s already right here inside you. You may look for romantic relationship to give you love, for success to give you recognition, for money to give you richness, for knowledge to give you power, or for a guru or a deity or God to give you peace.

This effort to find a material remedy to what is essentially a spiritual sickness is bound to fail. You may find the relationship, success, money, knowledge, or guru you were looking for, and for a short while there is a sense of fulfillment because you have stopped seeking and in this stopping you feel complete. Inevitably, however, after the honeymoon period, this feeling does not last, because what you think you have found is not real.

The true love that you long for is not a thing that another person can give. True recognition is not something that depends on what you do or what you have. True richness is not something found in bricks, gold, or numbers on a piece of paper. True power is not an accolade bestowed upon you when you’ve learned the spiritual sutras or received your doctorate in theology, psychology, or astrophysics. And true peace cannot be given by anyone, not even by “God Almighty,” “the supreme being,” or any other image of a higher power.

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True love, recognition, richness, power, and peace are invisible, and you cannot find the invisible in the visible. As soon as the temporary relief of satisfying your idea of completeness passes, the urge to seek more of that which you think will give you what you want returns. The seeking mechanism is a continuous movement from perceived lack to perceived fulfillment to disillusionment to longing for fulfillment to looking for something that will satisfy this longing. This sequence takes place in the imagination: it’s a horizontal movement of the mind (moving backward and forward from the past to the future), a kind of “mental masturbation” that becomes an addiction. It is this addiction that drives most of humanity’s behavior.

To end this addiction is revolutionary. This ending has the power to bring down the entire edifice of your inner and outer world.

The decision to stop investing a sense of personal ownership in the movement of the mind, and stop believing that your seeking has any basis in reality, is a radical step toward real change. In this decision, you are offered the opportunity to stop getting lost in the momentum of seeking and to turn your attention to what is truly there, whether seeking happens or not. It’s as if the seeking mechanism turns in on itself and seeks that which is within the seeker. This total turnaround in the focus of your attention has the capacity to cut the root of suffering. It’s a 360-degree revolution in consciousness that changes everything from the inside out.

This inner revolution is the death of all stagnant stories and the birth of something radically vibrant. It’s the discovery of who you really are, and the start of a whole new relationship to life.

(image by mbll from Pixabay)

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