In Dialogue: Real or Illusion?

November Project: Question #25 This exchange comes from a conversation on Google Chat (hence, the lack of punctuation). ;)

Questioner: I have a question that's been bugging me for a while now...I don't know whether you can answer this, but I thought I'd ask anyway...

what if someone has some sort of intrinsic condition, like a neurological condition...could that keep someone from getting in touch with who they truly are? How would one know?

How can one discern the difference between treating something that needs to be healed and seeking outward in search of a "shortcut"...if that makes sense? Maybe I'm just confusing myself again...

Takuin: If the body cannot function properly, then certainly, any result could be possible. If one is 'broken', if I can use that word, then it might be possible to be stuck within whatever problem might arise. But most people are not exceptional in that way.

If part of your brain is shut down, or if it is physically damaged, that is one thing...but if thought is the problem...if essentially, what one has is a problem of thought, then there is no real excuse to shift the responsibility to a 'condition'.

i dont know if i have answered your question.

Questioner: Yes, you did answer my question. Thank you :-)

Takuin: but if you go to a specialist, and find out for sure that something is not properly functioning, do your best to learn everything you can about it, from whatever reputable source available. stay involved

Questioner: yes, definitely...but sometimes it can be difficult to know whether i'm doing everything i can...or whether more should be done...so that i don't just stay stuck forever (ok, maybe not forever...)

Takuin: don't worry too much about what you can get from this, or what the future might hold. Just move forward as you live everyday.

Do you spend much time outside?

In Shinagawa Station

Questioner: not enough, unfortunately...i always tell myself i should...and now that the weather is getting chillier here, it's even less tempting...haha

but when i do, i enjoy it...although the mind has a tendency to interfere...

Takuin: it is probably better for the mind to interfere in nature than to interfere when sitting alone in your room

it doesn't necessarily need to be a walk in the woods during a blizzard...but it is good to have physical space...especially when confronting the mind....having walls so close to you may tend to make you feel even more trapped...it is good to get out

Questioner: yes, that's true...i do sometimes feel more open when i'm outside. i will do that...and enjoy the autumn leaves...while the weather is still relatively mild. thank you :-)

Takuin: you're welcome...dont let the cold stop you! when I lived in Boston, there were many places to feel space. even if you're in a city and not the countryside. even now in Tokyo, there is vast space...

Questioner: yes, and there places like that here too...and too often tend i close myself off to the outside world when i have time to myself...i feel like i have to force myself to stay in touch with friends and people i care about even though i don't want to be like that

Takuin: being alone is not really a problem...lonliness is another thing altogether

do you enjoy being alone?

Questioner: usually i do, although occasionally i find myself carrying a conversation with someone in my head (sad but true...haha), and i realize that i sometimes do miss the company of others...but i rarely do anything about it unless i feel really compelled to for some reason...

often the result is that i end up falling out of touch with people. a little too often, it seems.

Takuin: well, this goes on from time to time. it is ok for this to happen you know

Questioner: yes, i'm sensing that it's okay to allow this phase to happen.

Takuin: I think you will be able to handle this completely. it might not be as fast as you might want it, but your seriousness will win in the end.

really, all you are doing is taking care of yourself

Questioner: yes...thank you :-)