The Devices By Which We Are Ruled

Our basic sense of security in the world comes from the formula ‘If I do X then Y will happen’ and this – of course – equals control. If we control successfully then this gives rise to euphoria (which is the good feeling that I…

The Mind-Produced Sense of Self

If we aren’t this brittle, insecure sense of self then who are we? This brittle and permanently insecure sense may not be much, but it all we’ve got, after all! It definitely isn’t all that much fun being tied as we are to the mind-produced…

Being Alive To Difficulty

In Chapter 71 of the Tao Te Ching we read the following: It is by being alive to difficulty that one can avoid it. The sage meets with no difficulty. It is because he is alive to it that he meets with no difficulty. When…

The Game Creator

The default situation is one in which consciousness is held prisoner by the thinking mind on a full time basis. We don’t ‘think’ that this is the default situation but it is. There are – we might say – two elements here: on the one…

The Paradox of Being in the Present Moment

I can’t make myself be in the present moment. I can’t push or coax or cajole myself to be ‘in the now’ – that’s just not the way it happens. I can’t achieve this by following any method or developing a skill in using any…

The Engine of Automatic Reacting

In each of us there is something that might be called the engine of automatic reacting. Another way to explain this ‘engine’ would be to say that it is ‘force of habit’. This would be the more usual way to talk about automatic reacting, but…