--Sri Ramana Maharshi
I hope you had a chance to catch the radio show, The Human Spirit Rises with testimonies of hope, transformation and recovery from addiction and difficult circumstances.
Circumstances seem to have us so very trapped don't they? They come in the form our own habits and compulsions as well as in the ways other people seem to be able to step on our lives, interrupt our peace of mind and just generally create havoc in our world.
Even though we can see that no thing can truly make us happy, it is much harder to see clearly that no thing, person or circumstance has the power to ruin us. For me to have any sense that this is true in my life, I am often questioning the power of things.
How does a diagnosis have the power to make us fearful?
How is stress created in us?
How does someone disappearing from your life create sadness in you?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying these feelings don't or shouldn't happen. But I do spend time reflecting on how sadness, stress and fear arise within me. What is the mechanism? How does it work?
It may seem like thinking about such questions is pointless. That pain is just pain and sadness just is. And that's it. All I suggest is that for any of you reading who do work with others, this is a rich field for inquiry. Those of us who coach and work powerfully with people who are suffering and in pain, must reflect deeply on the true sources of pain and the means by which humans experience their troubles. If we do not, we can't help people as much or as well.
The closer we look at human feelings and all human experience, the more we notice a simple truth: that all people simply feel whatever they are thinking in the moment. Even the past and the future are experienced as thoughts in the moment. They cannot be experienced in either the past or the future, for obvious reasons.
So all life is made of thought. All thought comes to life within us. The truth about everyone who has a human body is that the nature and depth of pain and suffering arises in the present moment through our present moment thinking. And through nothing else.
I consider the work I do to be the work of liberating people not only from the depressing cycle of having things on the outside make us miserable, but also to free souls to be happy regardless of all the things we try to acquire, resolve or make disappear so that we can experience being satisfied and fulfilled. It seems to me that I am teaching people how to live an uncontingent life. (To the extent that I go first!)
I just cannot think of anything more important.