As an avid personal development student, I often seek to review many different sorts of material that can help me along my journey in life, and with my lovely mirror by my side, it can often hold up a few lessons for me to learn along the way too.
Not long ago, I came across a book in a small old shop. There was no price on it, and the owner hadn’t seen the book before. I took that as a sign I was meant to purchase the book.
I was so glad I did… Let me share a very helpful lesson that we can all apply when we find ourselves at a crossroads:
A student once asked, “Where is the Buddha?”
The master replied, “Not far from the source of your question”.
The deepest answer that can be given to any question is, “Who wants to know?”
How can we find a solution to our questions if we don’t know who we are?
Most people identify themselves with their body and personality or even the job that they do. All of this is on the surface, it doesn’t say who we really are. Zen (the inner you) says “look again.”
Your body has changed beyond all recognition – from a small baby to a grown adult, Your personality adapts all the time to new situations. Are these really you?
The only consistent thing in your life has been your experience of being a witness of all the changes, and how you’ve chosen to respond to those changes throughout your life so far.
For Zen (our inner self), our sense of personal identity is a self-created illusion.
Any idea we have of who we are is just that – an idea.
We are not the idea, but the consciousness that is experiencing the idea.
We can, therefore, never know ourselves through thought. We can only be what we are.
So, when you are at that crossroad, what do we often think about:
- What would xx want me to do?
- What is the right thing to do?
- What would be expected of me?
- What if I go left and really I should have gone right?
- What if I don’t like it?
- What if I do like it and I can’t do it for the long term?
We don’t often think about what we actually want to do based on what we value and believe.
This little lesson can help put things into perspective, whilst we work through some of the tools in our arsenal that we can use to get out of our head all of those positive and negative thoughts to allow our inner self / intuition / gut to find the right answer.