Not getting lost in phenomena

Doug Sensei offers a suggestion on something to do for a New Year’s resolution for 2013: “I undertake to train myself to refrain from getting lost in phenomena”.

Podcast Transcription:

Qapel: I suggest this be your New Year’s resolution for this year: I undertake to train myself to refrain from getting lost in phenomena. If you want to put it in a nutshell: I undertake to train myself to refrain from falling asleep in my own stories about ME. Which is the great power? If you don’t have the teacher present, the power of the group – they’re there to keep you from getting lost in your own stories, no matter how good they are. So, I suggest this be your New Year’s resolution for this year. What is the most likely place for you to get hijacked by your own ego? And make the resolution to try not to let that happen in 2013. Or less, In any case. I undertake to train myself to refrain from getting hijacked by – where do you get lost in you? Where do you get kind of swept away by you?


Maybe it’s by not moving fast. Maybe you like to move really slow and carefully. So you’re always hijacked on slow. Or maybe you always want to see all sides to every argument. So you never really make a hard decision of any kind because you’re always, you know. They can be subtle. Where do you tend to undermine your own unfoldment? Maybe it’s having your life too much in control. It’s too much just the way you like it. So you never have to deal with, you know, there’s very few things that you have to deal with that disturb you from your trip because you don’t put yourself in a situation where they ever can happen. You can think about this a bit. Where am I most likely to fall asleep? Where am I most likely not to see the transcendental? In what conditions or situations am I most likely not to meet the transcendental opportunity? You can word it in any way you want. Does this make sense? 


CPS: Would you suggest that we ask one another for feedback? Or we ask you for feedback? 


Q: You can bring it to me in the new year if you want, if you want my opinion, you don’t have to, but if you want to you can. And I may or may not comment. I may leave you with the one you’ve got, or I may up it, or change it, or move it. But it’s up to you. But it’s better that you come up with it because liberation is self-liberation. And if you get an insight into where you get shanghaied it’s much much better than if I tell you. Your next one may not be the ultimate one, but it’s the one that’s in front. Right. And that’s the one you should work For in 2013. You just, you know, every couple of weeks, once a month, you just bring it out, put it on a piece of paper, put it on your door.  Forget about it. And then you know once a month just bringing it out and how am I doing with this one? Okay maybe I have to think about that a bit more and you remember it for a few days and you forget about it. But at the end of the year, it will be less. All you have to do is bring it out and name it. And without any effort on your part, it will be less at the end of the year than it was at the beginning. It’s not hard to awaken. All you have to do is want to do it, gradually. In the teaching, there’s something called the near enemy and a far enemy.


But the near enemy is what you can’t see and the far enemy is what’s obvious. So you could say well what’s the near enemy? What’s the far enemy, you know where do I get caught? So the near enemy maybe just comfort. And the far enemy may be people who make you feel uncomfortable. That could be it. So again you can see that from looking at your life. And you can also do it by what you avoid: what is it you always steer around? or what do you always avoid? Or, again, what is so close and engaged and involved in your life that you don’t question it – it’s so much a part of what you are and what you do that you never raise your eyebrows about it, or if you do its kind of well that’s, I can’t do anything about that. So these are all various ways. 


Like any good investigator you get on a ship,  what do you do? You walk around, you check everything out, you try to go down the engine room, you go up on the deck you find out where all the, you know, you go looking around. If you ended up in a palace, what would you do? Do you go explore when you go looking around? So same too with this, you just go looking around -look at your life from this side, look at your life from that side. You could even get feedback if you wanted to. But this is not big like the guilt, shame thing, right? This is not not to make you feel guilty or shameful, like you’re a loser, or you’re not doing dharma. This is not the motivation for this, the question for this is: do I want to be more awake?


It’s not a negative. You’re not getting put down, you’re raising yourself up. So the more you keep your wits about you the less you get lost. And then from that vantage, you say: is this taking me forward? Is what I’m doing with my time and my energy unfolding to me? Is it bringing me to greater compassion? Is it bringing me to greater wisdom? or is it just kind of passing le temps? And if it’s passe le temps do something else. 


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