Wisdom 2.0 Highlights Two
Category : Wisdom 2.0
One evening Nasruddin was looking through the grass in his backyard. A neighbor came by and asked, “What are you looking for?”
“I am trying to find my keys,” Nasruddin responded.
“Oh, let me help,” offered the neighbor, and the two men spent the next hour combing every inch of the backyard. Finally, the neighbor concluded, “We have looked in every possible spot back here. Are you sure you lost your keys in the backyard?”
“Oh, no,” replied Nasruddin, “I am most certain that I dropped them while in my front yard.”
“Then why on earth did we just spend the last hour looking in your backyard?” replied the neighbor in exasperation.
“Well, that is easy. You see, the light is better in the backyard so it is easier to look back here.”
You will probably don’t understand this story with feeling , what an idiot .
But we are not much different with Nasruddin. We know what helps us to live with less stress but we always fail to act.
For example, “You know if you spend more than eight straight hours on the computer you get a headache, yet you still do it” Or “You know that trying to send a text message while driving your car is dangerous, so why are you doing it?” Our response is much like that of the man in the story. We are simply doing what is easy and familiar.
We are not letting ourselves feel that impact because “the light is better in the backyard”.
However, when we let awareness guide us, we are less motivated by the thought, This is not good, not familiar, I should not do this. Instead, we feel the “not goodness.” Who knows? It could be that in this deepening of awareness, we discover that a particular pattern is not so painful, or that that pain we receive is worth the pleasure it also provides. Or it could be that through this deeper knowledge we feel the pain more completely, and a desire to suffer less arises in us such that the old pattern is no longer desirable.
We simply do not want to hold the burning ember any longer. In this approach our entire system makes the shift, not just our mind.
We could say there are two kinds of pain. One is the pain of continuing an unskillful or stressful pattern; for example, of reacting by yelling back at the person who upset us. Another is the pain we experience when we no longer repeat a particular patter. We felt this pain, for example, in not yelling back in anger after we have done so the last hundred times. The former we could say is the pain that leads to more pain, while the latter is the pain that leads to less.
In this story, we look where the light is not good and feel the unpleasantness that can lead to more pleasant change in the end by changing through awareness.
Always bring awareness to every state. If you find yourself habitually snacking on potato chips while you work and do not want to do so as much due to weight problem, bring awareness to the act. Often we experience a duality at such times, with one force saying, “I want to snack all day long. It feels so good.” At the same time, a counterfoce says, “You should not be snacking all day long. It’s not good for your health.” We then snack, but feel guilty as we do, and by doing so not only do we enjoy the food less but we add more stress to our lives since we eat with guilt. One way to end the duality is to bring consciousness to the act, in this case snacking.
We pay attention to the process with curiosity instead of judgment noticing the desire for the snack , the reaching to get it, the putting it in our mouth, and the swallowing. We snack consciously.
As you bring consciousness to a pattern , see if another action wants to emerge, if it is time for it to change. It is fine if it does and fine it does not. Notice the tendency to label it as good or bad and instead focus on your direct experience.