Open Stillness

Uncertainty is liberating.Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel

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In the Tibetan Buddhist lojong teachings, one of the instructions for practice is “Don’t be so predictable.” As spiritual practitioners we need to have some curiosity about the unknown. When unexplored territory frightens us, we need to ask ourselves, “Where’s our sense of adventure?” It’s important to have a sense of adventure in life, because our situation in this very moment is not unlike climbing up that rock.

The way we respond to the fleeting stream of experiences we call “our life” determines our move toward either confusion or wisdom. The Buddhist tradition has many ways of explaining the genesis of confusion, or samsara, but all these explanations have one thing in common: Confusion proliferates when we can’t stay present with whatever we encounter. When we get overwhelmed by the rich energy of experience, we put a lid on it, try to consume it, embellish it, or react to it in one way or another.

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