So, for the last several weeks, I’ve been listening to a talk by Ajahn Amaro called, Understanding the Nature of Experiencing Itself.
At one point, Ajahn quotes Voltaire’s pithy axiom: “Doubt is uncomfortable, but certainty is absurd.”
This has lead me to reflect on ways that the mind tries to assert stability with concepts of certainty. “I know who I am. I know where I’m going. I know what I like. I know who youare.” And it’s interesting to reflect how absurd these assertions are in the face of change – the relentlessly impersonal flux of experience.
The direct confrontation of change brings with it a spiritual ‘fork in the road’. We can either buckle down and insist things are as we imagine them to be, clinging to views, opinions and fantasies of certainty. Or we can train the Heart to embrace the unknown, as uncomfortable as that might be at times.
Ramana Maharshi recommended this line of inquiry: “Let come what comes. Let go what goes. Find out what remains.”
So in my practice, I’ve found it very useful to consciously examine the energy of control, the desire to hold steady, and to explore what emerges and remains when those energies are relinquished.
I will try to stay in touch while in Europe, but whether or not I’ll able to get a Minute of Mindfulness off while abroad is, at this point, uncertain.
Originally published on March 9, 2011