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Don't soul search. Just watch.
How meditation leads to insight...
“You lived as a zen monk? You must have done a lot of soul searching…” Nope, not really…
Folks are usually surprised when they hear that.
Zen isn’t soul searching - it’s soul observing. It’s not thinking – it’s awareness: turning the light of awareness inward.
So I say don’t bother soul searching – just watch yourself.
The problem with soul searching is it’s more thinking. It presumes that you’ll think your way out of confusion and ambiguity if you think enough. I’ve found that’s not true.
When you try to think your way out of confusion it leads to more confusion. A confused mind yields confused thoughts.
I’ve done a lot of watching my thinking. And I see it’s full delusions, biases, and nonsense. Most everything you and I think – especially the emotional stuff (e.g. political views) is based on assumptions and cultural conditioning that we’ve never noticed – let alone questioned.
So just watch in order to see your mind as it is. Learn all your old tricks. See what’s going on under the hood. If you’re wrapped up in thought you can’t see the forest for the trees. The trees are the thoughts. The forest is you. You want to understand you.
Don’t think so much. Don’t soul search. Just watch. And you’ll see that thoughts are not reality. Thoughts are thoughts. And you’ll realize wisdom isn’t thinking – it’s beyond thinking.
That’s a short lesson (somewhat) related to happiness from many years of meditation (including 4 months at the Zen monastery). Just observing the mind will go much further than more thinking…
If you’re one of my many “meditation dabblers” and you’re looking for more like this and perhaps a kick in the ass to stick with meditation in 2023 then here’s my digital book » sticktomeditation.com
If you’d like to get a free copy I’ll give you one in exchange for feedback on it. :)
That’s all for now.
Your happiness experimenter,
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