No one can fail who asks to reach the truth.
I’m not gonna lie-lesson 131 has a LOTTA hells in it for my taste. But, despite the verbiage, what Lesson 131 is trying to convey is that..we create a hellava lotta suffering of our own making.
Pema Chodron tells a story about a monk who made it his life’s work to rid himself of his personal demons. He sequestered himself away from others in a cave and meditated diligently for hours every day. But, just when he thought he was ‘cured’ of his personal afflictions, the demons showed up in his cave.
The demons partied in his cave. Taking over his peace and serenity. At first he was, understandably, irritated. Wasn’t he OVER these demons already?
Nope. We party on. Said the demons.
He tried everything to get them to go away. Pleading. Cajoling. Bribing. Even anger. Nothing. They elevated it to a techno dance party instead.
Finally, the monk decided to stop interacting with the demons and just witness. To allow whatever the demons wanted to do, to happen and stop trying to control the outcome. Shortly after the demons left.
All but one.
This demon responded to nothing. No talks of enlightenment, or pleas of one-ness.
We all know that demon. The one that refused to leave no matter what. So the monk crawled into its mouth and said ‘Just eat me up if you want to’. And then, that demon left too.
Sometimes we feel like life is full of personal demons. That suffering within these personal hells is all we do. Day in. Day out. But Lesson 131 reminds us that, in our struggle, we are giving power to meaningless demons that are simply a projection of our own thoughts.
When we can be present. When we can surrender, like the monk. Completely (even to that one demon you think you will never be rid of) we engage in timelessness. In mercy. In the transformational serenity that lives within each present moment.
How do we do it? Ask to see things differently. Ask for the truth. Accept what is. Surrender to the holy place where dismal thoughts can not enter. Enter the mouth of the demon and watch the resistance melt away into what has always been yours to live. Peace, love and happiness.