Overcoming What We Resist
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We each bump up against our resistances all the time. They are like a bad clutch, but most of you reading this have probably never driven a car with a clutch. At every turn, we find ourselves resisting this or resisting that. We may even translate our resistances into “I don’t like this” and “I don’t like that” or worse, “I am this way” or “I am that way,” but this may just be over-anthropomorphizing all of this.

If our myriad of resistances are what makes the wheel squeak, then each resistance, when realized, contains within it the oil to un-squeak itself, if that makes sense. That is what realization is all about. In the Tibetan tradition, they use the image of a knotted snake that, when it relaxes, just naturally unties itself. Dharma realization is the untying of our own knots.

I am reminded of the old road-sign warning “Slow Down, Curve Ahead.” When we sense ourselves resisting, that too is a sign that we should relax and take it slow, hopefully evening-out the particular knot of resistance that we feel within us. Our resistances are like shorthand. They can be relaxed and unpacked, thus extending themselves smoothly and releasing their tension. Just as in the body pain is our way of becoming aware that something needs attention, so do resistances pinpoint for us where attention on our part is needed. It is our psyche’s way of alerting us, is we can learn to be that aware.

And just as the masseuse seeks out knots in our body and solves them, so can we learn to unpack our many resistances, releasing their energy to us for other uses. And the process is simple. First, we have to be aware of being resistant and pinpoint each resistance with that awareness. Next, we can learn to treat each discovered resistance of which we are aware as an opportunity to slow down and very carefully unpack it. And this is best done with love and a cherishing of this opportunity. When that resistance is totally released or expanded, it releases the frozen-energy in which it was bound and that energy lives again and is available to us. Consider the whole process as a kind of psychic massage that removes the knots and kinks of our resistance, resulting in a smoothly running (and fully flexible) mindstream.

Each knot of resistance is a frozen energy pool that can be unlocked and liberated. It amazes me that we carry within us the very means for our own liberation. How economical! And, it’s not like we have to go far to get an energy drink. In time, we can learn to choose, unlock, and release resistance after resistance on our path to enlightenment. It’s like a picnic lunch, fully portable.

And just as with a universal wrench, one realization fits all. Once we grasp the nature of realization, it’s a universal solvent. So, to back up a bit and repeat, our resistances are like an oilfield, with many wells. Like a knotted cord, as each resistance is realized, another knot in the cord is unraveled and the increasingly un-knotted cord becomes more and more of an open conduit through which our life-energy can naturally flow.

Unraveling our knotted cord is the path to liberation and enlightenment, one knot at a time. It is an axiom in Tibetan Buddhism that what binds us, frees us, if we can realize how to do this. And the key to realization is awareness, awareness, awareness.
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