Welcome Your Suffering

Sit quietly. Take a few deep breaths and slow yourself down. Turn your focus inward. Don't focus on your breathing, or perform a mantra; just sit quietly. Whatever is there, whether it is a physical or emotional sensation, allow it to be there. Don't resist, and don't try to think of something better. Sit with your sensations and allow them to do what it is that they do. How do you welcome a feeling you might perceive as negative? Don't be afraid of it. However horrible it may seem, it is not real. It has no existence. You are the one that gives it the power to cripple you.

Imagine that you are sitting at home alone, with nothing to do. The doorbell chimes. You open the door, and it is a person that you have not seen in a very long time. Someone that you love deeply. Everything is perfect and you welcome them into your home with great love and true affection. Welcome your suffering in the same way - with love and no sense that it can hurt you, becuase it cannot. Welcome the feeling and observe it; how it moves and what it does to you.

When we resist, we attach ourselves to the object of resistance. We can never be free of something if there is resistance. There is nothing to be free from, but the mind, for whatever reason, tricks us into believing that there is something better out there. But is there an out there? As strange as it might sound, I question that. What is outside of this organism that I can use to set me free? All of the creations of thought are outside. Nature is outside, although it exists apart from thought (but thought can extrapolate on nature, or make ideas or theories about it). What is outside of this body, this mind? What could I possibly hope to find?

I know many people will say that God - whatever they mean by that word - is outside of them and uses them or guides them like an instrument. Can anyone possibly know that is true? But I can feel God, they might say. Did the God that you feel originate outside of you? Did someone have to give it to you? Is it based on knowledge, meaning, do you have to follow some rules in order to get somewhere later? Heaven, Nirvana, Satori, or whatever humans have a tendency to seek. If someone gave it to you, and it is presented as a way to achieve freedom, how can you possibly know that it is true? The mind is an amazing instrument. We can make ourselves experience any feeling we see fit to have. We can imagine the most amazing sensations. How can I be sure that what I am feeling is God? Could it just be the undigested remnants of the potatoes I ate last night?

Don't take any of this as a negative viewpoint. I m not against anything here. I just want to question it all. If we are talking about the freedom of humanity, how can I trust anything that is given to me for that end? This system will do it. Really? Why does the world still suffer? This religion will do it. Really? Why do we destroy each other over our beliefs? This political system will do it. Really? When will that begin? I am not an athiest, not anti-anything. I am just saying if something doesn't work, it doesn't work. That is all.

I grew up in a religious community. When I was younger, I resisted it. I emphatically said it was false. But if I do not believe in something, and emphatically rally against it, I am still very much attached to it. If I knew something to be false, why would I put any energy toward it at all? If you drop it, it is gone. Not to be played with, or kicked around on the ground. If I say I am an athiest, I am still attached to God. Isn't that obvious? If religion has no meaning to me, it is gone. There is no reason to talk about it or join a group of people that talk about how wrong it is. That is madness. Does any of this make sense to you?

It is not a matter of ignoring anything. If I ignore something, I am still active in my resistance. And if I resist something, I am still with it. I can never be free as long as I resist. The resistance unravels itself without any effort on our part. Any effort towards resistance is resistance. If you feel resistance, anger, hate, greed, or whatever it might be, welcome those feelings with great love. Greet it like your loved ones at the front door. Allow it to arrive and watch it; observe it. Don't view it with the idea that it is a bad feeling. Don't see it as something to avoid or resist. There is nothing good or bad or horrible in there.

Welcome it, love it, and observe it, and it will destroy itself.