The Practice of Not Looking for Anything

The practice of meditation can be difficult to sustain. Often, we veer towards such practices for becoming a certain way. No matter how subtle or refined such ends might be, they are something we seek or want to acquire. Having goals is good and even the goal of complete freedom is an end that requires means. Strangely, in seeking anything, we inevitably entrench everything we think we do not want. Purpose and direction call for qualification, definition and discrimination and in a way, any such process involves a move away from freedom if that is what is sought. In filtering and judging, we reify and recreate the basis of that which entraps. Mental activities are invariably biased by form and by supposed self and reality and such structuring is recalled and reinforced with any action we take. While wholesome and skillful action might be brought about by the moulding and training of our faculties, fashioning does not do away with the biases upon which mentation is based.

The practice of not looking for anything can be a helpful way to uncover the pervasiveness of our biases and our fabrications. When we engage in this practice, we literally don’t look for anything. Not relief, not joy, not pain, nothing. Goals are suspended, seeking is suspended and we abide with whatever may be arising without looking for anything! It might help to keep aside some time to sit comfortably to engage in this practice but that is all that is likely needed. Whatever is arising is allowed to arise, whatever is passing is allowed to pass and while we practice, we look for nothing. Not a particular way to be or to feel or think any particular way. We remind ourselves that we are looking for nothing if we begin to attempt to amend or modify how things are.

Goal directed activity is no doubt needed. However, we could choose to spend some time once in a while doing this practice. With some experience, we might find that this practice not only stills and silences, it helps to increase our ability to joyfully do whatever it is we put our mind to.

the practice of not looking for anything

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