Letting go of techniques
Last article, I talked about non-duality, and would reiterate that the gist of non-duality is that everything is ‘as it is.’ In a sense, you could say that it’s all about non-separateness. Or non-distinction. Non-judgment. And non-technique.
In other words, non-duality is dropping your insistence on the correctness of your judgements and prejudices, by barely and simply noticing what your mind is up to—while letting go.
What we let go of are distinctions, separateness, and dualities.
You are conditioned to judge, and then to seek a ‘cure,’ as if you are separate from your judgement, and separate from what your are judging. What I’m working on communicating is that getting all of this involves seeing through duality to the underlying unity. But notice—seeing through something means that the thing is there, and you are now seeing through it.
Having and Being
This is a big issue. Notice how often people say, for example, I have a headache. The idea is of a thing outside of myself, like “I have a book on my desk.” Yet, the headache is not a foreign ‘thing’—an ache that exists in your head apart from you. Rather, the situation is, “I am headachy, among other things.”
What I mean is that people objectify and externalize their existence. They might think that their lives are empty and meaningless, and that they should be full and meaningful. Then, they assume that they need to learn to do something different—learn a technique—and then everything will be great.
Except it just doesn’t work that way. What we are talking about here is not an ‘add-on’ that you implement when things are going wrong. It is a way of being whereby you choose, always, to see through the game you are playing.
In other words, you begin to live
in the here and now.
Often, people start a spiritual path—meditation, yoga, mindfulness, whatever, with the goal of ‘becoming more healthy and being less stressed.’ And, for a while, this works. As with anything new, there is a period of bliss. (It’s like a new relationship—they always seem perfect in the beginning, and then the novelty wears off, and you discover, often to your horror, that the person you are with is who he or she is, not who you imagine them to be.)
Following the bliss comes the boredom of the realization that this new skill set changed nothing about you or about the world. You might be physically more flexible, from, say, yoga, but your life is just as weird.
On the other hand, showing up at yoga class with no other goal than to be present with your body and to see through your body—to use the asanas to stretch your self-awareness—now that has a chance of working!
Technique actually gets in the way, mostly. I once had a client who was quite committed to counselling and Bodywork. One day, she stopped coming. A mutual friend asked her why she’d quit. She said, “Gotta keep moving, trying new things. Don’t want to get stuck with the same thing.”
What I saw happening was this: the work she was doing was helping her to peel away the layers of the games she played with herself. What was underneath all of the stories she was telling herself was the non-dual nature of herself.
In other words, she was beginning to see that all of the drama, all of the blaming, all of the guilt and jealousy that she saw ‘happening to her’ was peeking out past her defenses. She was beginning to see that she was the one making her life as it was, and this flew in the face of her ‘blame game.’
As soon as this happened, she flipped on to another technique, so she could escape from dealing with herself.
Our goal, in this series of articles, and indeed in all of our work, is to convince you to let go of blaming and inertia. In other words, to confront the veil of confusion and judgement and story-telling you do, and to see through it.
Our goal is to urge you accept the reality that all there is, in your life, is you and the games you play.
Let go. Let go of wanting to substitute one story for another. If you want ‘happy’ instead of ‘sad,’ think about it. No matter what level of happiness you get, it will never be enough. Instead, simply see your grasping after happiness as another veil, and drop it.
Settle into the moment, have a breath, and see how things are. If you can hold to simply seeing, you’ll discover that things, right now, are as they are, and are never otherwise.
And as you think about applying this ‘technique,’ remember that it isn’t one.
As my supervisor used to say,
“You don’t do it, you be it.”
Figure that one out, and you’ve got it!