Lightly child, lightly.

When you become a personality through having thoughts like: feeling sorry for yourself, views and opinions, self-criticism and so forth, and then it stops — there is the silence. But still the silence is bright and clear, intelligent. I prefer this silence rather than this endless proliferating nattering that goes on in the mind. I used to have what I call an ‘inner tyrant’, a bad habit that I picked up of always criticizing myself. It’s a real tyrant — there is nobody in this world that has been more tyrannical, critical or nasty to me than I have. Even the most critical person, however much they have harmed and made me miserable, has never made me relentlessly miserable as much as I have myself, as a result of this inner tyrant. It’s a real wet blanket of a tyrant, no matter what I do it’s never good enough. Even if everybody says, “Ajahn Sumedho, you gave such a wonderful [inspiring talk]”, the inner tyrant says “You shouldn’t have said this, you didn’t say that right.” It goes on, in an endless perpetual tirade of criticism and fault-finding. Yet it’s just habit, I freed my mind from this habit, it does not have any footing anymore. I know exactly what it is, I no longer believe in it, or even try to get rid of it, I just know not to pursue it and just to let it dissolve into the silence. That’s a way of breaking a lot of these emotional habits we have that plague us and obsess our minds. You can actually train your mind, not through rejection or denial but through understanding and cultivating this silence. So don’t use this silence as a way of annihilating or getting rid of what is arising in experience, but as a way of resolving and liberating your mind from the obsessive thoughts and negative attitudes that can endlessly plague conscious experience.

Ajahn Sumedho, from “Intuitive Awareness” (from: ijourney.org)

 


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels. Photo: via Your Eyes Blaze Out
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Comments

  1. Silence is the answer to liberating the mind 😌

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Much gratitude to you David for posting this. Feeling some relief from my relentless inner critic. I’m going to write this out and pin up as a visible reminder.
    Blessings to you and Ajahn
    Rosie

    Liked by 2 people

  3. train the silence. yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, how you doin’ with this?😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the share David. The problem is when we believe the ego mind! In silence we can let go of our thinking and let the tyrant lose its power over us. Go lightly my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Little by little….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And there it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So there’s hope then…
    Thanks for another brilliant share, David.
    I fear my inner tyrant has taken over my whole body. Time to let that sucker go.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. christinesat says:

    Oh, how I know that feeling… Never being good enough, never ready, always trying to prove that I’m worth being loved or accepted. Like a hamster in it’s wheel… runrunrun workworkwork.. . Exhaution only seems to be an imagination, resistance is selfish. And so you run until you reach the edge. It’s true. The most horrible enemies are living within ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so understand. Your thoughts remind me of:

      For weeks I listened intently to the table talk, not daring to join the conversation, not having anything to say, and wondering where and how one acquired opinions, so many and that seemed to come so easily. […]
      I listened furiously, trying to take all this in and find out how it was done. To start with, I couldn’t understand how it was so easy for them to have a point of view, to know how and why things ‘worked’. ‘Working’, the pivotal valuation, was never defined. There seemed to be too much to learn. I picked up quickly that having opinions wasn’t enough and that it was necessary to have a basis – from reading, from study, from hard conscious thought – from which the opinions were formed. But more important than all the theory, behind and beyond it, there was some ineffable taste or intuitive understanding implicitly agreed on by these talking, always talking, people. I couldn’t imagine ever acquiring the all-important taste. Did you have it or not, from birth? Could you acquire it with diligent study? Many people were dismissed as stupid, especially academics, who apparently lacked good judgement, yet who seemed at least as learned as Doris and her friends. How could they be stupid? At fifteen, I felt it was already too late. I hadn’t read enough, seen enough, been to enough places, talked to enough people. I felt that nothing of interest had happened to me, not understanding that every life is ordinary to its owner, that looking for interesting events was to search in the wrong direction for something that isn’t absent because it isn’t the point. I felt that I was burdened with a lifetime’s weight of unfinished homework. I would never catch up. Never read enough. See all the movies and plays. Never learn how to think. These people all seemed so finished, so confident. And they wrote and were read, and by doing so they were deities to me, the hopeless unfledged writer whose sentences were never buoyed with confidence.

      ~ Jenny Diski, In Gratitude (Bloomsbury, 2016)

      Liked by 2 people

      • christinesat says:

        I remember, when I started studying philosophy. Oh, I was so impressed by all these self confident and wise talking elder students! One day, I had a talk with my professor about my worries not being good enough to study such a difficult subject. And he asked me: “Do you know the secret of most of all these people that impress you so much?” And when I shook my head, waiting for THE ANSWER, he just said: “They are good in producing hot air, that’s it.”
        Now, at the age of 54 and after (hopefully) coming through so much, I don’t want to feel “burdened with a lifetime’s weight of unfinished homework” anymore.
        It’s time to enjoy. There’s so much good in this lifetime.
        Thank you for posting, David. And for being such a good comanion.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Silence IS golden.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh, I LOVE this. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  12. PS: Are you familiar with Pema Chödrön? She is an American Tibetan Buddhist. I think she’s someone you would resonate with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi. Just short snippets. Anything you recommend?

      Snippets like this:

      We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.
      ~ Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living (Published August 21st 2001 by Shambhala)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. David, there are so many. “But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.” How I love that.
    If you can, listen to her on audio. Her voice is soothing and she’s so practical and can be so funny. She has this little bit of self-deprecating humor that is very dear. One of my all-time faves of hers is “Don’t Bite the Hook.” I’ve listened to this series several times – to me, outstanding. My husband gave me Living Beautifully – haven’t started it but plan to. She’s on my short list, along with Anne Lamott and Brené Brown, among others.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Yes, one can silence the Inner Critic. Most of the time. But if it’s innate, it’s ever there in the background. One simply need be mindful.

    Liked by 1 person

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