A while back a friend sent me the following quote, from the Indian Buddhist teacher Aryadeva. He wrote this almost 1900 years ago:
“To question that things might not be as they seem can shake the very foundation of habitual clinging. This questioning spirit is the starting point for self-reflection. Could it be that this tightly-knit sense of self is not what it seems? Do we really need to hold everything together, and can we? Is there life beyond self-importance? These kinds of questions open the door to investigating the cause of our suffering.
“The actual practice of self-reflection requires us to step back, examine our experience, and not succumb to the momentum of habitual mind. This allows us to look without judgment at whatever arises, and this goes directly against the grain of our self-importance.
“Self-reflection is the common thread that runs through all traditions and lineages of Buddhist practice. It also takes us beyond the boundaries of formal practice. We can bring the questioning spirit of self-reflection to any situation, at any time. Self-reflection is an attitude, an approach, and a practice. In nutshell, it is a way to make practice come alive for us personally.”
Interesting. The old is new, and the new old.
Back to the present. The phone rings.
I say yes or no.
There are not many ways to directly answer people’s questions.
And as these answers flow out of what’s true for me in this moment, out of this pure power within me, the world is shaped on the other side of the phone, mind is influenced, interpretations form, life moves this way or that as effect, it seems. How else could the world be created?
They say, “It’s your fault,” and I think, “Isn’t it odd that after the fact they would hear a yes or a no in such a way?”
Or they say, “Thank you, thank you thank you,” and I think, “Isn’t it odd that such power is given to such simple answers, yes or no?”
The world is created as I sit here, it springs into being and is mirrored back to me as life. It’s wonderful not to be the doer.
Everything is a story. The mind spins stories out and you believe what the mind tells you. Every time you are stressed out or fearful, you are believing what the mind is telling you. The Work is about discovering what is true and what is not true for you, the difference between reality and imagination.