The reason so many problems are perceived in our lives is because we are conditioned to live life through the formula: Retain and discard.
Look closely, and you will see that this is the framework used in our daily lives. For most, it is the only way we know how to approach life.
We seek greater experiences and try and retain them. We discard people and things that no longer fulfill our desires. These are the intimate relationships we know based on “give and take.” Even for the spiritual seekers life becomes about retaining what is “good” and marginalizing what is deemed “bad.”
The spiritual seeker is still playing the game of opposites-denying themselves certain foods, activities, sex, etc. hoping to rearrange them self to look a certain way to say, “Finally, look I am enlightened, I need nothing, I enjoy nothing.” Yet, the frustrated “I” swings on the pendulum of pain and pleasure, fights to retain; and experiences moments of peace when there is no conflict.
Therefore, it is not about manipulating the form of “me” to look a certain way by condemning and marginalizing some parts, and by seeking and retaining other parts. This is the art of having problems.
Rather, remain as the watcher of this persona that goes by your first name. Repeat constantly, “Yes. I see these thoughts and sensations. But who am I in spite of them?” Practice in this manner with all the intensity you can muster. With great perseverance be free!
Your Eternal Friend