Tag Archives: Obstacles

Why we take a peculiar pleasure in suffering and how to stop

"Observe the peculiar pleasure you derive from being unhappy. Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it." -Eckhart Tolle Have you noticed? We want to be free of pain, but there is a part of us that which takes a peculiar pleasure from reveling in suffering. I had two decades of depression and anxiety before I came to awakening. Some of the episodes were so debilitating that all I could do was atrophy behind a black cloud and watch my life crumble—watching helplessly, as once again, Read more [...]

A Gentle Honesty

Awakening humbles me. A strange thing about awakening is frequently we feel we are very conscious, but then life throws something at us and we react in the same conditioned way we always did. It’s a humbling experience, and that’s the point of it. A year ago I had severe and debilitating anxiety. It was bad enough to have anxiety at all, and this particular bout was especially severe, but on top of that I was upset that I could have anxiety at all. I had thought. with awakening I had overcome Read more [...]

“Cease to Cherish Opinion” – 6th Awakening is Simple book excerpt

“Cease to Cherish Opinion” When we have the insight we are not our thoughts, we do we not awaken instantly? It’s because we cling to concepts. Clinging to concepts is the biggest obstacle to awakening. It can be a very obvious or a very subtle obstacle. It shows up in many ways: Resistance to starting: “I will become emotion-less”, “I need to understand completely first”. “What will I be without thoughts?” “I am not ready.” “I will start tomorrow.” The resistance Read more [...]

Awakening is Simple – FREE!! ebook excerpts

Gentle readers, I’m posting parts of the ebook Awakening is Simple. Over the next few days, I’ll post the following sections: Awakening is Simple / Ripening / Exit the World of Fear and Sadness / Awareness Now / Release / “Cease to Cherish Opinion” / Acceptance / Release Meditation / Metta / Presence / Close Read more [...]

Rely on Direct Experience only – “Cease to cherish Opinion”

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!" "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?" In a poem Seng-ts’an writes: Read more [...]

The Second Obstacle – The Search

When we have the insight that we are not what we think we are, we are compelled to find Truth…and we immediately run into the second obstacle. We take on practices and methods and spirituality in an effort to awaken out of this delusional mental framework. The phantom in us looks immediately for answers in external authorities. We chase the answers, typically through religion, philosophy, spirituality, meditation, traditions, self-improvement, books, and we adapt others’ ideas and beliefs and Read more [...]