Can mindfulness get rid of our problems?

The answer to whether mindfulness can lead to a trouble-free life becomes obvious when you discover, at the deepest level, who it is who is trying to find out. If you can observe without criticism, thought, ideas, memories, or judgments what your relationship is to life and all of its phenomena and contents, then you see that all problems are related to the sense of self.

Who is the one so concerned about problems, and who is the one who has problems — who is trying to get rid of the problems? It is the egoic self, which is what we tend to call “me,” or “I,” or the egoic mind that is created from psychological conditioning that leads you to believe you are an individual associated with a body, accomplishments, failures, a religion, a race, relatives, culture, and so on. The egoic self is created out of an accretion of thoughts, but when you look for it with great persistence and desire, you cannot find it. But don’t take my word for it, because you have to prove this to yourself if you are so inclined.

To know what you are at the deepest level means you have to know what you are not. And this ultimately leads you to discover where all your problems come from.

The essence never changes
The essence of who you are remains unchanged while life changes all the time. Every emotion and mental state arises out of a boundless, changeless, unformed, non-egoic Self as part of life and experience. When you observe deeply enough and beyond what is previous to consciousness (the things you are aware of that make up the totality of life), you find that you are the SOURCE of consciousness. The source does not change and is never affected by its contents. We can liken this to a movie screen that contains all the action of a movie, but it is never drenched by images of rain or burned by images of fire.

Say Yes to it all
To accept all of what is in consciousness, which is what is in you as the source, is to be okay with it. As Joseph Campbell once said, “Say Yes to it all.”

When you read such an explanation as I have given, perhaps it seems paradoxical. This is because the source that is the real you is prior to the mind, the world of thoughts, action, occurrences, people, nature, objects, and all phenomena. This true essence of what we are is neither conceivable or perceivable. It is only realized by way of observation without the observer. Mindfulness is a good entry into recognizing this if you can use it as a tool to realize who it is who is being aware/mindful. However, eventually the mind itself has to be released and abandoned in favor of the Source of the mind.

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Vic Shayne

Vic Shayne

…writer for 40+ years, mind/body practitioner, self-enquiry meditation, NY Times best selling author (https://amzn.to/2CeaSE), consultant, researcher.