The Problem with Being Human

You know, there is a problem with being human. Several problems. Now, you all know that YOU, the YOU that YOU ARE, is not the physical body, and is NOT the mind. Yes? You are beyond the body and the body. You are something much bigger, much more. And for those who are willing to open your heart and your ‘mind’ to the teachings, YOU are part of, you ARE, in fact, shared consciousness. Hmmmm. A very simple, yet oh so complex ‘thought’ to get our minds around.

Okay. So the problem with being human.

So here we all are – currently experiencing this adventure called ‘life’ in a human body. You know, at birth, we are all given a vehicle with which to ‘get around’....with which to explore this thing called ‘humanity.’

So first of all (and the least of all), is the human body. It is subject to sickness and frailty and ultimately, death. We know that. We have all experienced some faltering of the human body ourselves. We see it in others. We fear it. But that is for another day!

But the mind....aah....the mind. Well, we have been ‘blessed’ with a human mind. The mind is an organ which is meant to keep us from harm, and to help us maneuver our way through this adventure called ‘life.’ But the mind being the complex organ that it is, develops attachments to ‘things’...and to ideas....and to beliefs....and is particularly unadaptable to CHANGE. Once the mind has settled into a relatively peaceful state, The mind likes to have things stay that way.

The Buddha did not teach ‘Happiness and the way through happiness.’ When he was asked what he did teach, he replied instead: ‘Suffering and the way through suffering.’ That is our common experience whether peasant or patrician—the eternal problem of being human.

Avoidance. This is a big issue. We pretend that things are not really the way they are. There is no way of completely avoiding problems, and pushing them away doesn’t help—the problems merely grow worse when suppressed and hidden, ‘What is suppressed is expressed.’ If you push it out of sight in one place, it just pops up somewhere else or in another guise.

Acknowledge and Acceptance. We have to acknowledge them and develop compassion for them and ourselves. They are part of the way we deal with the world; as we strive to free ourselves, so we must strive to free them. To attack them is to attack ourselves, like a man in the midst of the sea angrily attacking his leaking boat. We must instead plug the leaks, trim the sail (if we are lucky enough to have one) and set a course by the sun and stars (if we know how).

We are lucky enough to have charts that the Buddha left us and from the Sangha we can obtain experienced navigators, so at least we may have some idea where we are going, and that is a great blessing. Here’s a practice to help us acknowledge, and accept……………pls keep reading…..

The Practice is called being in “Not Wanting Mind.”

Buddhist psychology separates desire into two categories….painful desire and skillful desire. Both come from a particular energy of mind called the Will to Do. (Manipura Chakra, for those who have interest!)

Painful desire involves greed, grasping, and feeling inadequate and longing. Skillful desire comes from exactly the same Will, but is directed by love, vitality, compassion, creativity and wisdom.

As we acquire wisdom, we are able to figure out what is unhealthy desire from that which is more natural and easier. When our understanding grows, we are able to uncover the joy and the beauty, and the abundance of all that we already have been given.

This is a complex practice, and one not easily accomplished. Meditation is the perfect place to contemplate Wanting Mind. I love the quote by George Bernard Shaw …..

George Bernard Shaw said, “There are two great disappointments in life. Not getting what you want and getting it.” Oh, how true this is!!

Jack Kornfield, a very wise Buddhist teacher says…”And what happens when we do fulfill wanting? It often brings on more wanting. The whole process can become very tiring and empty.” Now, I do not need to go on with the reminder that we are virtually DELUGED with messages of just how inadequate we are unless we have more and more and more……but that is for another day! In the meantime, “Want More of What You Already Have, And Less of What You Have Not.”