The subtleties of resistance
September 30, 2013, 11:04 am
Filed under: Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

We are all familiar with resistance. In it’s most obvious form it is felt viscerally and expressed verbally as a firm “NO!” But resistance can be subtle. So much so that if we aren’t actually consciously looking for it – at it – it can easily be missed. It can be disguised as almost anything, including earnest and sincere seeking or spirituality.

With Eckhart Tolle’s teachings to bring attention back to the present moment becoming more popular, many of us have discovered just how much our attention has been caught up in thinking. Never before having realized how wrapped up in thoughts we have been, we begin to see how our awareness flits from one thought to another. It is amazing to start to become aware of this tendency, even though at first it feels like such an effort to “learn how to” bring attention back – to itself.

For those of us who hang in there and continue unraveling the ties that bind our attention to thoughts, the entire ‘process’ appears to become more and more refined. We become aware of the subtle tricks of the mind that seem to be taking us in the ‘right’ direction (into the present moment). One of these tricks comes about when we follow Eckhart’s suggestion, or (worded differently) the command that Gangaji suggests (having learned it from her teacher, Papaji) to “STOP!” When we follow this advice, and then feel (obviously or subtly) the resistance of “… because I should not be [doing… whatever]” then we have, in fact, continued giving in to the demanding mind which says, “This should not be.”

The ego/mind is so crafty! Until we are able to witness it in action, feel the effects of its processes in our body, inquire into all that is going on and remain perfectly still – STOPPED, as it were – we are resisting reality. This command to “STOP!” and the suggestion to “bring awareness into this moment” means to be with all that is. Fully and without compromise, including the subtle mind-tricks that arise to hook and entangle attention yet again (on something other than itself).

So often we hear that if we can just bring our attention to Now, if we can just STOP (thinking), then we will be at peace. We can all discover the truth of this for ourselves. But paradoxically, it is this kind of thinking the mind latches onto that keeps us chained to longing, seeking, chasing (the peace of) Enlightenment. If we cannot see this, we are still looking through a veil of thinking. It may be very subtle, but it’s not so subtle that we can’t see it. We just have to look, and be completely willing – open – to seeing reality as it is, which may include these subtleties of resistance.

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