Why is this happening to me?
If you have ever heard yourself say this out loud or in your mind, you’re not alone.
Chances are, you have been through situations or circumstances that have caused you immense emotional pain and suffering just, as every human being who has ever walked the planet has.
However, the question is not “Why is this happening to me?” The real question and the one that will relieve you of the pain is “What am I holding on to?”
What you are holding on to are also known as attachments.
Attachments come in all different shapes, forms and sizes. An attachment can be anything from a material such as a car, a home, a valued collectable that has been passed on from generations.
An attachment can be an ex-wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend.
Attachments can be life experiences that you have had in the past that were a lot of fun.
However, a common misconception is that we are only holding on to past pleasures, when sometimes we are also holding on to our past pain.
In fact, pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin and here is why.
There is only one constant in this life; there is one never-ending change in life and that is change.
Even though it may not seem like it from day to day; look back one year ago and think about how much has changed. Look back two years, three years ago and look at how much has happened, or changed.
There is only one never-ending change in life and that is change. Change is lucid, as time passes, the world of change is going with it.
So whatever gives you pleasure now will eventually give you pain, as eventually that pleasure will go away. Whatever gives you pain now will eventually turn into pleasure as pain goes away.
This is why attachment makes you suffer when you cling to the way that your current situation or circumstance is, it will change, and as it changes you will suffer.
The only time detachment is needed is when you have first attached yourself to a certain material, experience or person and then let go of it.
Non-attachment is the conscious choice to enjoy the current moment in which you find yourself but not to attach yourself to it. And in fact, with this kind of conscious attitude you will enjoy your life much more.
You can’t comprehend the present moment with the mind; you can only feel this moment.
Feeling this moment is what allows you to take a step back away from the mind and either detach from what has been weighing you down, or choose not to let life’s pleasures run you into the ground by needing them.
Generally speaking, if you are your mind, then you don’t have a choice in the matter. You can’t make the decision because your mind has made it for you.
We think we are choosing with the mind, but the mind generally has been so conditioned from the outside world, that it is the world choosing our attachments and non-attachments for us.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t live a unique life, as we all have uniqueness in us as individuals, but still to an extremely large degree, we are being held back by the world’s attachments, desires, thoughts and emotions.
Consider for a moment how many people you know who have stressed over money in their lives and to what extent that stress over took their life.
Just about everyone I’ve met has at some point been buried by money, myself included.
The point is that the stress you have over money is a form of conditioning.
It’s not that we don’t need money to survive, of course we do, but knowing this is so then why stress and just put in the action necessary to take care of it?
The point is this; there is a big difference between knowing what has to be done (awareness) and stressing (awareness with pain) over reality.
And a lot of the world’s attachments have become our attachments.
This is why the only TRUE way to rid yourself of the heavy weight that past attachments have on you is to take a step back away from the mind which means to be aware of the present moment.
When you let go of the mind, you’re fully in the moment.
Most of our attachments and non-ability to detach are unconscious. This means that the mind is running our life, and although we have a choice, we are not aware of that.
We have misinterpreted who/what we are with the mind and created false identities out of it.
This is why a lot of times we have an extremely challenging time letting go of past pain. Because we have identified with the mind, the mind unconsciously identifies with the pain that we have had in our lives.
This means that we perceive subconsciously that losing our past pain means losing our identity, which will hurt much worse.
Speaking from experience, even though I’ve been practicing paying close attention to the present moment for the last few years, I still find myself getting swallowed up completely from situations that happen.
They overtake me to the point where I have a horrid feeling inside.
It gets to the point where I’ve identified with the pain for so long that the pain has grabbed a hold of me and won’t allow me fully in the present moment.
When this is the case, you have to just ride the wave of pain and in your best most effortless way not label it mentally with the mind.
You can reduce the grip that the conditioning, the false identification, has on you.
Well if I’m not my mind, then who am I?
The one who watches the mind.
The one who observes the mind, without labeling reality.
You see the neutral reality, and you become the neutral reality.
All of this is another way of saying you are the experiencing presence.
The last thing you want to do is create a problem out of attaching yourself to something or not being able to rid yourself of that emotional pain.
The moment you make higher consciousness into a problem you do the exact opposite which it is supposed to release you of all unwanted and unnecessary pain.
If you create a problem, you create a false identity
Because as mentioned if you are the NEUTRAL, LABEL-LESS reality, then even inability to be conscious is not a problem.
You would rather suffer from the inability be in the present, then to never experience the present moment at ALL, and millions of upon millions of humans never have gotten a true glimpse into a deep state of no-mind.
The moment the mind chatter, or the obsessive compulsive thought no longer dominates your life, the more frequent the present moment will allow you to stay detached from the never changing world.
To expand consciousness, see THIS MOMENT and make the THIS MOMENT the foundation of your life. You don’t even need the time past for this expansion of consciousness.
As you begin to make this moment the foundation of your life, then more and more going forward you will be able to take a step back from the mind and be.
This Zen story beautifully and eloquently sums this up.
Instead of saying “My meditation was supposed to be great, my legs are supposed to feel good, I’m not supposed to be distracted, and I’m supposed to stay awake.”
All of these “supposed to’s” are labeling the ‘what is’ reality.
There is no supposed reality, there is only a neutral “what is” reality.
And then, just as time passed and he was feeling great again, Zen Master wisely knew that if he clung to it, when it passed then suffering would eventually occur.
The neutral reality inside is the constant level of peace through the pleasure and through the pain. If the world is never ending change, then there must be a constant within and that is the neutral presence.
And the way to access that neutral reality is by letting go of the weight that the mind holds by being fully aware with every cell in the body here and now.