One of my teachers (Frans Stiene) once told me an anecdote that went something (but not entirely!) like this:
Once upon a time a determined young monk headed off deep into the Himalayan Mountains to meditate uninterrupted for three months straight. After hiking for several days he came to the top of a craggy ridge where he found an isolated cave that would be perfect for his purposes. Immediately, he set up camp, sat down in full lotus position on the icy stone floor and, without delay, began to meditate.
Having trained for many years, the young monk soon entered into a deep state of meditation. He remained in it for over a week, only getting up a few times to eat and relieve himself. Then, late one night after the moon had already set, his meditation was disturbed by a band of impish creatures who crowded in around him, curious to find out what he was doing.
At first he tried to ignore them, but inside he grew more and more restless, more and more distracted. In fact, the more he tried to ignore them, the more irritated he got. Eventually, using all the calm he could muster, he explained to the little imps that he'd came to this far away cave to meditate undisturbed and would appreciate it if they left him alone.
Unfortunately, the imps ignored his plea for peace and continued to press in around him, often coming so close that once or twice they even bumped into him, knocking him halfway to the floor.
For a little longer the young monk forced himself to meditate as best he could, then, overcome by a wave of anger, he decided that if asking the imps to move nicely didn't help, he would get so mad with them that they would be frightened off.
No sooner had the young monk decided this than he jumped up from his lotus position and started screaming and waving his arms. Given how big he was compared to the imps, he expected them to flee in terror, but instead they seemed amused by his outburst and, before long, dozens more of them crowded into the cave.
When he realized that getting angry wasn't working, the monk decided to change tack. He decided that perhaps he wasn't being spiritual enough and that what was needed was a bit more love.
With this in mind, the monk calmed himself down and started thinking as many loving thoughts as he could towards the little imps. He opened his heart chakra as wide as he could, he imagined hugging them, he filled the cave the most positive emotions he could find.
Having gone into 'love mode', the monk certainly felt better than he did when he was angry, but the little imps obviously liked this new state too, because the longer the young monk continued to generate his loving emotions, the more they squished their way into the cave. Soon there were so many of them that some were literally forced onto his lap for lack of room.
Irritated once more, the young monk took a few long deep breaths and thought things over. He'd tried forcing himself to ignore the imps. He'd tried getting mad at them and scaring them off. He'd tried being loving to them - and nothing worked! If things kept going like they were he would soon need to pack up and leave.
Determined not to be outdone by the little imps, however, the monk decided to try one final approach: doing nothing. He decided that if everything he did only increased the number of imps, then the only real alternative was to do nothing at all.
With this in mind he decided not to resist the little imps. He decided that whatever happened he would simply sit with the emotions that arose as they crowded in around him. If they irritated him, he wouldn't try not to be irritated, he wouldn't try to go deeper into his meditation so he could forget about them; rather he would simply observe his anger with total passivity. He would watch his thoughts and emotions from place of total surrender. And if he felt the urge to change his state of being, to be rid of the little imps and the irritation they brought with them, he would simply repeat a special mantra: 'I will not try to change anything' - and then do nothing.
Armed with this new approach, the young monk resumed his meditation as the imps jostled about him, bumping into him regularly. This annoyed him, but instead of pushing the irritation away, he simply let it flow unimpeded through his body until bit by bit it dissolved.
The young monk continued to observe his thoughts and emotions without trying to change them for several minutes. Over this time he noticed that he became more and more settled, until he actually didn't mind whether the imps came or went. It was at this point that a miracle occurred: the imps gradually began to lose interest in him and leave the cave - until less than half an hour later he was alone once more.
For the rest of the young monk's retreat he continued to apply the same practice of non-doing / non-resistance to any troublesome emotion or thought that arose in his body or mind, until he was so relaxed and at ease that he would have been happy to stay in his cave for many years to come. It was precisely at this point, however, that his master came to fetch him with the news that he was now ready to go out into the world and teach.
The practice of non-doing / non-resistance is one of the great secrets of meditation. You can use it to heal the past, clear blocked energy and connect with your true Self. Try it and experience your own miracle!
Jeremy O'Carroll, Director of the Om Reiki Centre.
Tel: 1300 853 356
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As always -
Be well and shine brightly,
Director - Om Reiki Centre
Tel: 1300 853 356
Mob: 0417 328 457