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It is easy to see how other people create their own dramas, how their patterns of thought and behavior keep them trapped in a kind of recurring nightmare of the same issues surfacing and resurfacing in an endless loop. Unhappy with their spouse, they divorce and remarry someone who seems to have the same “problems” their former spouse had. Leave one job for another and still they struggle with their boss’ inability to understand or appreciate them. Move from a crime-ridden city to the country only to have their new home broken into or their car stolen in the suburbs. Cigarettes, drugs, sex, chocolate, dieting, plastic surgery, gambling…the list goes on.

But it is another thing entirely to see your own hand in your own dramas.

I know that I am trapped in the same kind of patterns of thought and behavior, and I know them intimately. I am not fooled into believing that they come from someone or someplace “outside” of me. But this is a kind of mind-knowledge, not “body-knowledge”, if that makes any sense. My understanding is cerebral, not visceral. The anxiety that keeps me up at night isn’t cerebral, although it is mind-centered and mind-created. It courses through my veins and although I can ride it out, meditate through it and ameliorate it somewhat, it doesn’t leave until it’s good and ready. Same thing with feelings of sadness. Guilt. Anger.

And all this striving. I get sick of my laziness and bad habits and swear off drink and too much food and no exercise and I go sit meditation and read books on how to change my thinking and I exercise and set goals and eat right and strive and strive and strive towards an imagined perfection- telling myself that I am striving for balance, for peace, for some kind of spiritual ‘growth’ or understanding.

But it’s just more time on the wheel.

Spin, spin, spin. Little hamster going like mad.

No stillness at the center.

Where is buddhanature now?