What’s Your Problem

Every week I go to this Vedanta lecture where the teacher invariably ends one of his poignant sentences with “so what is your problem?” Meaning, “you are of the Infinite Consciousness, and all of this is beyond comprehension..You are asleep within an illusion, and because you are here with me right now, I know You Know It. So why do you complain about the dream? Why are you struggling in this illusion? Why are you doing everything BUT the necessary work for realizing Self? What Is Your Problem?” I always crack up a little when he says it, and I think it throws him off because it may seem I’m laughing at him. But he moves on because,well, he has no problems. A couple of months ago I ran across these words:

This is what enlightenment is all about – a deep understanding that there is no problem. Then, with no problem to solve, what will you do? Immediately you start living. You will eat, you will sleep, you will love, you will work, you will have a chit-chat, you will sing, you will dance – what else is there to do? —Osho

The words messed with my mind because, as I told Katy in Satsang, I don’t know anyone who understands more than I do that there are no problems. “All is Well. Everything is Beautiful,” is my go to motto and I don’t just say the words, I live them faithfully. But of course, I am not in this place of “enlightenment” that Osho is talking about so I had to really start asking myself:  “So what is your problem?”

After spending a considerable amount of time over the last decade convincing myself that there are no problems, I found this question to be of particular interest. This Path is a spiral staircase of learning so it is not unusual for me to review things I thought I already knew. That being said, it still comes as a surprise when I realize things I once thought I understood could be known on deeper and deeper levels.

As I allowed the question to sit on my mind over the next few weeks it gradually occurred to me that I have a problem with SO MANY THINGS in this world. An extremely short list:

1) The American Social, Political, and Economic Structure, almost entirely

2) Deforestation

3) Child Endangerment, Abuse, Molestation etc.

4) Katy “talking crazy” to me from time to time

5) War

6) Poverty

7) Media Consolidation

8) Scam Artists, especially those hiding behind Religion

9) Wealth Hoarding

10) Not hustling back on defense <—that really bothers me a lot

So those are just a few of the things I have a problem with. This exercise has been helpful in my practice of detachment or creating space between mySelf and the maya. This is the basic practice: Asserting who I Am and Negating what I am not.

When it comes to problems, it is helpful to remember a couple of things:

1) If it is out of my control then it is harmful to my spirit and disposition to worry about it.

2) If it is within my control then worrying about it is harmful to my ability to work it out.

3) Everything changes. Whether it is or is not within my control, the way things are will inevitably become the way things were. There is little to be gained from losing my sense of peace over intrinsically impermanent situations.

Now, What’s Your Problem?