That is the spiritual conundrum in many circles today. To do or not to do…
Do you do something? Do you meditate, pray, chant, try, struggle, give to the poor, go to workshops, attempt to heal, fix, fix, fix?
Or do you do nothing? Just forget all this spiritual nonsense and love yourself the way your are, even with those flaws?
Tis a conundrum indeed.
The wise ones say that this moment of NOW is just as it is. Recognition of you, in all your messy chaotic imperfection is enlightenment.
You can’t do anything to reach this recognition because it’s already here.
Yet you can’t NOT do anything to reach this recognition because, sure as bananas, you may continue to react from the throes of suffering until you take your last breath.
It’s a conundrum and one that has challenged most spiritual seekers until they run screaming into the woods.
I’m DONE with DOING! you’ll say, and you won’t do.
Six days later, after a binge with anger, frustration, pain, annoyance, compulsiveness or sadness you’re ready to do ANYTHING, ANYTHING to make the world right.
I’ve learned the mind simply is not the correct instrument to solve this conundrum (even though the mind still thinks it is). The mind, bless its soul, speaks only the language of duality. The mind so often thinks the answer is either/or.
Either we do something or we do nothing, the Mind insists. It has to be that way.
Yet what exists when the Mind isn’t trying to decide whether to do something or nothing?
When we forget the unsolvable conundrum of doing or not-doing, we’re brushing our teeth. We’re going outside. We’re feeding the birds. We’re painting the deck. We’re writing a blog. We’re attending a workshop. We’re singing in the shower. We’re sitting still on the couch, not thinking. Or we’re thinking up a storm. We’re feeling sad. We’re feeling happy.
In other words–Life is already both doing and not-doing. Life is already choosing when to meditate, when to play checkers. Life is choosing when to witness and when to drink wine. Life is choosing an allergic reaction, a rising fury, a song of delight.
No matter what the mind decides–I shall do or not do–Life continues it’s doing and not-doing. It continues its dance. Awareness (beyond the duality of the mind) illuminates it, makes it shine in clarity. It’s recognition that spirals this beyond the personal.
The trick is to see that the there’s no decision to be made. Any decision is superfluous. Any decision for or against is an add-on to whatever is already arising. (Except when Life makes a decision and then makes an alternative decision. Do you see how language trips us up so easily, making a claim and then refuting that claim because it simply can not fully be articulated in a dual language?)
To see that Life is already, delightfully, ridiculously, completely in control. There is no way you can do or not do. We are more than the Mind’s definition of a limited self–we are already Life itself, completely whole.
Life does. We’re being done.
Oh yes, Life does, praise this next arising, and the next, and the next.