Video

The only real cure to constant procrastination (and it’s not “just do it!”)

What does procrastination have to do with spirituality? A lot: it shows the deep problems in your psyche that happen when we are not being honest about what we want.

Enotional honesty with ourselves is necessary for a quiet mind, and a quiet mind is essential to the spiritual search.

A very short introduction to psychoanalysis for spiritual seekers

Transcript: Hi there. So, today I want to explain real quick what psychoanalysis is, very briefly, and why I recommend it generally speaking to seekers. So first of all let me just explain what therapy is. Therapy is a very general term. It’s the idea of a healing modality. People use it in all kinds of ways, like touch therapy, massage therapy, aroma therapy. So many things can be therapy. Psychotherapy is what attempt to heal the mind or psyche using some variety of talking. Of these there are many different kinds. For example, one of the most prominent is called cognitive-behavioral. But the oldest and deepest in my opinion, especially for seekers who want to understand themselves deeply is psychoanalysis, which is the school of psychotherapy that was started by Sigmund Freud, but has evolved a long time since then. So what makes psychoanalysis different? Well first of all, let me just make a quick distinction here. Psychoanalysis technically refers to the most intensive style of the treatment, which is at least usually three times a week. Psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalytic psychotherapy are kind of lighter, somewhat less intense versions of it. Now what distinguishes psychoanalysis and its sort of little siblings is their focus on the unconscious. They don’t believe that you necessarily know what’s going on inside yourself, that you know what the problem is or why it is you’re doing what you’re doing, and how you necessarily want it to be changed. That is uncovered through a process of investigation which can take quite a long time. The beauty of this is that it is a very, very light touch. Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy don’t try to control you, don’t try to mold you or change you in any very direct, blunt way. Instead, you go through a process with the therapist or analyst of uncovering what it is that’s going on in your mind, things that have come up since childhood, and things that are revealed in the relationship between you and the therapist or analyst. So these are very, very subtle things that go on that other psychotherapies often don’t pay as much attention to because they are trying to “fix your problem” immediately, assuming that they know what the problem is, that you know what the “problem” is. But psychoanalysis doesn’t’ assume that you know what the problem is, doesn’t assume that it’s so simple. It believes that our mental conditions come from a series of conflicts that have arisen from early childhood onwards, and that to discover this is a very slow process that takes time and nevertheless can be extremely illuminating for spiritual seekers, because that’s the only way of getting at many of the most complicated, subtle and persistent issues that bedevil them. All right, so this is just an introduction.

A person does not get enlightened; enlightenment simply is the truth

Transcript:

So a misconception that people have is that a person gets enlightened. Right, you think of yourself as a person, a mind, a body, and you think that’s what gets enlightened. But actually ,enlightenment is simply the truth. Enlightenment is simply what is already the case. The entire story of being a person, a body and a mind and essentially a kind of limited entity — this precisely is the story that is false. So, the story of a person who was ignorant and then becomes enlightened, this kind of story is precisely what isn’t the case. So the entire idea that a person could be enlightened is exactly the idea that the truth of enlightenment which is there regardless of how many times the idea may crop up that it isn’t — remains. It’s like a rock, right, and these, these thoughts of being a person to whom enlightenment occurs are just like these shadows. The shadows cannot actually touch the rock which is the simple truth, the matter of fact. And it doesn’t matter how many times one may think differently. The fact is, enlightenment is, and the story of being a limited person isn’t.

Being is simply the constant silence behind thoughts. But that is a thought.

Transcript:

In truth, Self is so simple. Self is simply being without any pretension to hope or to fear, to doing anything else. Self means the total relaxation of all mental effort. It is that space of silence, the hum of the refrigerator, the constant phone tone that underlies your life. You know it. It’s simply what you are, constantly. And if you just relax, that is it. You’re there. But the moment you say “I’m there,” you’re not there. The moment you say, “when I say ‘I’m there, I’m not there,’” now you’re not there. Except that you are. In all those cases, you are there. You are there even when you think you’re not there. The thoughts of not being there are merely thoughts of not being there. In fact, they’re not even thoughts of not being there. The very idea of not being there is just a thought. The very idea that there can be a thought of not being there that afflicts you is a thought. Thoughts cannot affect you. Thoughts cannot afflict you. Thoughts don’t even exist. The very one who says “there is a thought” is a thought. Thoughts are like mirrors put together facing each other. They’re recursive. Move the mirror, even one of them, even slightly, and all the thoughts disappear as if they never were. And in fact, they never are. They never were, they never are. The mirror alone is. Not even the mirror. Because the mirror is contrasted with its reflections, and its reflections are unreal, which means the mirror is just a thought. No, no, something beyond the reflections and the mirror. Not even that. Beyond is a thought.