Lesson 23: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts

Our laughter sailed across the room disturbing other diners and causing some to look at way with irritation. But we didn’t care. Most of the girls didn’t even notice it like I did. Sinking back into my seat, I watched them talk. I couldn’t hear their words. My mind was too busy with mine.

Friends. I called them my close friends. In truth, I spent so much time worrying about what they thought of me, what they felt about me, wondering if they called me because they liked me or out of pity or out of some sense of obligation. It had been hard to admit this. But as I spent more time with my spiritual circle, time with other friends felt difficult. I had always blamed them for this. But now I had begun to realise it wasn’t them. While I was worried what they thought of me, I had begun to think of them as unspiritual people and that realization had caused immense guilt. So much guilt, I began to make it up to them by praising them more whenever I met them. Time with them had begun to feel like an imposition, a compulsion, leaving me confused. Last night when they had posted a message to meet, I had been tempted to refuse at first. But I couldn’t. How could I? I had been more worried about what they would say had I refused.

Today a little while earlier, as I sat smiling at their words every now and then, I heard the truth clearly. I had seen how my mind kept feeling attacked by them, their habits, their choices, their thoughts, and how I kept attacking them in return with my assumptions about them. What a crazy world this was! And the cause was not out there. They were not judging me, I was judging them or imagining they were judging me. The problem, the cause was in my head.

I looked at each of them noticing how they were all like me in so many ways. All anyone wanted was happiness, peace, joy. Why is it that the mind never noticed the Good or Divine in others and only saw a vengeful world? It was time to escape my crazy mind. I can escape from the world I see by giving up all attack thoughts about them, I reminded myself. I did not need to judge them or myself and see a crazy, world. I did not need to attack them with my mind all the time. Now that I knew what was causing the craziness, I could let go of it. It was time. I leaned ahead in my chair and laughed at what my witty friend had said. I was going to be fully present to them without the chatter of my mind.

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