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Whose Problem Is It Anyway?August 27, 2009
Published under: Spirituality
Most of us spend our entire lives thinking about how to solve our problems. We waste countless hours actively engaged in conversations about our problems with ourselves, our friends, our therapists, or just about anyone who will listen. But, we still have problems. We’re all still suffering.
Although suffering is useful in that it shakes us up and makes us question our reality — there is a path to freedom. Consider this insight offered by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche at a recent retreat.
Our problems should be like shooting stars moving across the sky — there for a moment and gone the next. We, on the other hand, experience wisdom like a shooting star — with our problems coming on steadily.
According to the Bön Dzogchen meditative tradition of Tibet, our thoughts arise from a clear empty space within us — and then vanish back into that emptiness. Our essence is primordially pure and clear, like a crystal. This is the true nature of our mind. And, the wisest part of us knows this.
When confronted with a problem, try asking who is the one doing the looking? Who is the one that’s seeing the problem? Obviously not the wisest part of us. The “wrong” person is actually doing the looking — and we’re very attached to that person. In fact, we’re empowering that person — and as a result, we empower our problems — instead of letting them vanish quickly back into the emptiness.
Rinpoche also suggested that we question the popular practice of analyzing our inner child. In the end, all we’ve managed to do is change our crying inner child into a smiling one. But, there’s still an inner child who’s doing the looking. Why not have our inner wise person do the looking?
This is but an introduction to a simple and yet profound way of shifting our perception of reality. Try it out when you’re faced with a problem. Ask yourself who’s seeing this as a problem? Who’s holding onto this problem?
A part of me is tempted to look at this way of questioning as yet another problem.
You can learn more about the Tibetan Bön teachings at The Ligmincha Institute
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