Here is the simple statement of how to be the peace of mind and happiness that you already are.
1. Reflect what causes us pain: Expectations, preferences, triggers from past painful experiences, righteousness, need to control, etc.
The source of this pain is thought. Stop and consider if this is true. Reflect on your direct experience. Try to find an experience of personal suffering that did not have a bundle of thoughts that created a story or narrative about the situation in which you were suffering. Can you find any? I certainly can’t.
I assert that it is our direct experience that there is no psychic pain without thought. Even physical pain is worsened by resistant thoughts (like “I don’t like this pain. I want comfort not pain. Why is this happening?”)
Now imagine “lifting off the layer of narrative” from a memory of a suffering experience. What remains? What remains and is experienced with the body’s senses are sensations and/or emotions. (Emotions are stimulated or intensified and remain stuck in the body by our seeming friend, resistant thoughts.)
So, it follows that without thought’s engagement with emotions and sensations, the wave of emotions (say anger or shame) arise and move through the body. In short, if we can relax away from thoughts or just witness them as thoughts arise in response to emotions and then creates a story of resistance, then there will be no suffering.
The natural healing function of the body is to move the energy of emotions through the body and release it to maintain health. Our resistance to emotions being felt and released arises in the form of thoughts.
The thoughts that create resistance and bury the emotions in the body instead of flowing through sound like this: “I don’t like this feeling.” “This is not good.” Some variation on the theme of “No, this is not okay. This shouldn’t be happening” perpetuate suffering and bury emotions in the tissues of the body.
Again, consider that without a resistant point of view (the “No this should not be” thoughts) there is no suffering. Without resistant thoughts there is only physical reaction in the body from outside stimulus. The wave of reaction or emotion moves and flows through and then the body returns to a baseline of functionality. This release of emotion and return to wellbeing only happens when there is an absence of resisting thoughts.
So, reflect on your direct experience and the insight I’m attempting to articulate here— that resistant thoughts cause suffering. Thought has no idea its creating suffering. It thinks that its helping protect and defend us, keep us safe, or help us find comfort. Instead, resistant thoughts leave waves of suffering in the body/mind.
2. Discover that thoughts are not you. Thoughts are temporary and you are not. See that thoughts come and go while you remain. So, who are you, if you are not thoughts?
Stop here a moment and breathe into the experience that without thought, who are you?
Answer the question, who am I? –without language or thinking. Look for that essential element that allows for all experiencing. What is it that is aware of or knows every moment of experiencing?
Looking beyond thought, we have a chance to find our true identity beyond thinking—the knowing element that allows us to know all objects of experience (thoughts, sensations, perceptions, tastes, textures). Try this: Breathe, relax and let go into that which is seeing these words. Not the eyes. Eyes are the means of sight, but do not see without this something that illuminates all experience.
Simply stating our direct experience, there is a knowing element that allows for all experience to be known. Check in with your direct experience to see if this is true. Don’t look to thought to find this knowing element; thought knows nothing of this experiential knowing that allows for the illumination of all experience. Only being can know being. Thought can only know objective reality (objects); thoughts cannot enter the realm of experiencing. Again, only being can.
We’re confused about our essential nature that allows for all experience to be known because language through thought conceptualizes experience and creates a mistaken identity as the body/mind. We identify ourselves with and as the body mind. Know that that is a mistaken identity and lies at the root of suffering.
Open the door marked “Know your True Nature and Stop Suffering”. What is our true nature if its not thought and its labeling of the mind body as “me”?
3. Know your true nature as the awareness presence or consciousness that knows thoughts. With curiosity and a willingness to move beyond our cultural assumptions, begin to abide as the quiet, spacious awareness with which all experience is known.
4. Abiding as awareness, you are the inherent peace and happiness you always and already are. The awareness that you are has no thought, so you are “lifting off” the source of pain. (See number 1.) The more we drop from head to heart, or said another way, from conceptual/thought identity to identification as the aware presence in which the thoughts are arising and with which the thoughts are know, the more peaceful and happy we become.
Simply put, see that peace and happiness are our inherent nature beyond thinking. This is the simple truth (check it out in your direct experience) that you always and already are the peace and happiness you seek. If in doubt, look to and learn from children under 5 to see the happy, spirited beings we are in our essential nature.