I’m sitting in Berkeley’s Cafe Strada next to the campus, putting the finishing touches on tonight’s Dharma talk. Oddly, I was considering the many forms of how we resist and desire the lives we are given when one of the nearby tables exploded into heated dialog as to whether resistance is a force for good or a force for evil. Or both.

Just watching what’s coming up for me in the process and for the members of the conversation. Part of me wants to offer one of them a note suggesting that the either/or/both arguments do a great job of obfuscating a chance to open to the massive expanse of being. Not getting caught by resistance, for example, but instead opening to it fully, allows for us to participate in a dance that is unified rather than divided.

When we don’t want something that shows up in our lives, we typically do our best to resist it. This resistance can mean that we refuse to accept things that arise in our experience, or that we manipulate them, or that we fight against them, or that we even work to destroy any of the causes and conditions that might lead to anything we find undesirable. As we continue our climb, we begin to see that all of our resistance centers itself around a contracted, egoic intention of pushing away what is presenting itself and grasping at what is not presenting itself in order to either force or avoid a particular outcome. As with any form of grasping, this causes suffering.

Awake in This Life

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