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Lions Roar : July 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2012 62 experiencing huge upheavals in our life, yet nothing is coming up when we’re on the cushion. Shouldn’t they manifest in our meditation? We may try to manufacture emotionality and cri- sis in our practice. There are many other examples of how our expectations manifest in our meditation practice. All these concerns about our practice and our various medi- tation experiences are genuine signs of—wait for it—confusion. Actually, the recognition of confusion is quite helpful. Seeing our confusion is an important and, dare we say, genuine dis- covery. If we look into our experience, we see that we are very, very confused in some fundamental way. That may be the most authentic realization that comes up over and over in our meditation practice. If we are willing to acknowledge confu- sion, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, then the path and the teachings are real, even if we may not seem to be getting anywhere. Give up any hope of fruition. This slogan from the lojong (mind-training) tradition is another way of putting it. This is the idea of our practice being anti-credential, or free from credentials—through and through, start to finish. That is why boredom, our starting point, is so helpful. It’s really not a very good credential. If someone asks what you have achieved after three days, or three years, or three decades of meditating, it’s not that impressive to say, “I’m thoroughly bored.” To prepare for writing this article, I looked at ads for spiritual paths and retreats, and not one of them said, “Come sit with us. We’ll make you completely bored.” But boredom is actually a great sign, if it is genuine, complete boredom that includes being bored with your confusion, your anger, your arrogance, your everything, your you. I’m probably letting the cat out of the bag a bit, but if you commit yourself fully to your practice and discipline, you eventually wear out a lot of things—they begin to seem quite unnecessary and quite boring. If we are willing to acknowledge confusion, then the path and the teachings are real, even if we don’t seem to be getting anywhere.