Thursday, May 19, 2011

Step 2 says that I'm insane?

In 12 Step groups we're told that it's insane thinking when we do the same thing(s) over again expecting different results. The Buddha said we suffer because of our delusional thinking. "So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making." P. 62 BB
We make up "our troubles" with our minds.

sane: "sound of mind, rational, showing good sense"

insane: "not sane; mentally ill or deranged; demented; mad; crazy"

delusion: "a false belief or opinion (not substantiated by sensory evidence)"

I suspect if we work on our insane thinking, we will also help tackle our delusions; and
likewise, if we work on our delusional thinking, we will also address our insane thoughts.

What is this "working on?" My proposal is that practicing with the 12 Steps and koans
together, we can help to resolve both matters, or at least lessen their impact upon our lives.
We do this by not thinking* of either steps or koans separately but as one practice.

It's much like the idea of striving for enlightenment (whatever that means). Awakening cannot be hunted down and captured -- it simply happens when we are doing the thing which allows it to happen -- not trying, not seeking, not striving and not looking outside ourselves.

In Step 2 we learn that our insane thoughts will be taken away; in other words, we cannot try ourselves to dispose of them. Delusions disappear via our meditation practice, not by thinking our way into clarity. We stop the struggle, we take it easy, we do what is required to make space for the Universe to speak to us. This can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere. It's right here, right now!

When I hear a Step being read at a meeting, a koan often appears as its reflection;
when I'm working on a koan on my cushion, a Step may appear as its reflection. There's
no clinging to one or pushing the other away; instead they appear as one entity to
reflect upon -- helping my mind to become more rational and my opinions to fall away.

Bill K.

* See earlier post about colons and periods.

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