It has now become clear, what gets in the way of peace. Sitting quietly on the usual chair, taking a walk amidst the hills behind Stanford campus, savoring a meal . . . the familiar knot makes itself felt, sooner or later. THE knot usually comes with a various of emotions, always in the unpleasant category. Anger, fear, doubt, desire, well up in the heart and obliterate the possibility of ease. Some times, out of sheer habit and long time conditioning. On other occasions, in reaction to outer circumstances, not wished for. THE knot hits me right in the stomach.
When I sit long enough, the root cause of such unease, inevitably shows itself in the form of thought clusters, around various facets of 'I'. I know myself well enough to have the list down by now: the competent one, the savior, the victim, the scared little girl, the worried one, the ambitious amazon, the depressed young woman, the lonely soul, the greedy one, the aversive personality . . . They show up at inopportune times. They disturb the possibility of inner happiness. The disruptive self is no more than a collection of sticky, dirty mind habits looking to attach themselves to the pure moment-to-moment experience. It takes time to disengage.
When faced with manifestations from the disruptive self, I like to ask myself the following questions:
What facet of the self is being triggered?
Does that aspect of the self belong to this moment?
What does the resulting suffering feel like?
Where is it being felt? in the mind, in the body?
How old is that self habit?
The older the habit, the harder to let go of. Years of stickiness cannot be undone that quickly. One needs to be patient, and kind, same one one would be with a stubborn child. One also needs to trust that persistent 'seeing', and relaxing of the bothersome thoughts and emotions will pay off in the end.