No resistance to what is

I do not know the right word
Surrender, patience, acceptance
No resistance to what is

Battle cries outside
The enemy is here

It is a light, peaceful state
No accumulation of knowledge, wealth or relations
No demand for growth, recognition or justice

Alert, present
Hearing every sound
Noticing the slightest change

No rescue, no escape
Holding steadily the hilt of the sword
With a whisper of a smile
I see the enemy entering the door

Bravo! :mrgreen:

This reminded me of Steven Pressfield’s War of Art where he rails against resistance and says flat out:

”Resistance will bury you.“

Good to hear you’re working to overcome it. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I went to Amazon and looked up a free excerpt. It said that we must do our true work, not because we will make the planet better, but for the same reason that the hawk has to catch that mouse. I immediately fell in love with the book and downloaded the audio version from stevenpressfield.com/books/war_art.asp. BTW there are some other books mentioning resistance and how to overcome it; “Live the life you love” by Barbara Sher, “Wake up and live” by Dorothea Brande and “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

The resistance is our great enemy. It is a residue of the times past when humans lived in caves and the average life expectancy was 25 years. When fight or flight mechanism was essential for survival, when daring to take a chance often lead to death and end of those dangerous genes. But it’s inadequate in our modern world and has so been for at least the last ten thousand years, ever since the civilization appeared. However our brain is still wired like the brain of a cave man. The evolution can’t cope with the fast change that our civilizations has caused. Hence, there is a dysfunction. This was noted by Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, Zen and Sufi masters, and many others. We have to fight the resistance with all we got, because it is a battle between living the abundant life and living in the waste land.

We must never yield to resistance. We will have to fight it each day to the very end of our lives. Resistance is cunning and so must we be. We must never reason with ourselves when pursuing our goals. Reasoning is resistance. As soon as you start to reason with yourself, know that it is the voice of resistance you hear. If you stop listening to the resistance you will be two levels above and three steps in front of everybody else. Resistance has been the theme of many teachings. Let’s look at some of them.

  • Frank Bettger
  • Bhagavad Gita
  • Dorothea Brande
  • The art of doing the dishes
  • To be continued…

There are countless of ordinary people defeating resistance. Here is a story of Frank Bettger, whose father died a drunkard’s death, leaving his mother penniless with five small children. The poverty and the sickness made his mother loose three of the five children. One day when Frank was eighteen, making $32 per month as a plumber’s helper, he was offered to play in a baseball game; MacDaniel’s Saloon against Danahue’s Saloon. He was noticed by ‘Reds’, an old big-league pitcher, and was offered to play for Johnstown for $175 a month. But after just one month he was was fired by Bert Conn, the manager.

I went to Bert and asked him why he fired me. Bert Conn’s eyes were cold as stone. He said he fired me because I was lazy! Well, that was the last thing I expected him to say.
"You drag yourself around the field like a veteran who has been playing ball for twenty years. Why do you act that way if you are not lazy?”.
“Well, Bert,” I said, “I’m so nervous, so scared, that I want to hide my fear from the crowd, and especially from the other players on the team. Besides, I hope that by taking it easy, I’ll get rid of my nervousness”.
“Frank”, he said, “it will never work”. That’s the thing that is holding you down. Whatever you do after you leave here, for heaven’s sake, wake yourself up, and put some life and enthusiasm into your work”.

Observe how the resistance gave Frank logical explanation why he should drag himself around the field. “If you take it easy”, said the resistance, “you will get rid of your nervousness”.

After being fired there, I went to Chester, where they paid me only $25 a month. After I was there three days , an old ball player, Danny Meehan, come to me a said: “Frank, what in the world are you doing down here in a rank bush-league like this?”
“Well Danny,” I replied, “if I knew how to get a better job, I’d go anywhere.”
A week later Danny induced New Haven to give me a trial. My first day in New Haven will always stand out in my memory as a great event in my life. No one knew me in that league, so I made a resolution that nobody would ever accuse me of being lazy. I made up my mind to establish the reputation of being the most enthusiastic ball player they’d ever seen. I thought that if I could establish such a reputation, then I’d had to live up to it.
From the minute I appeared on the field, I acted like a man electrified. I acted as though I were alive with with a million batteries. I threw the ball around the diamond so fast and so hard that it almost knocked our infielder’s hands apart. Once, apparently trapped, I slid into third base with so much energy that the third baseman fumbled the ball and I was able to score an important run. Yes, it was all a show, an act I was putting on. The thermometer that day was nearly 100 degrees. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I had dropped over with a sunstroke the way I run around in the field. Did it work? It worked like magic. Instead of dropping with heat, I felt better during the game and after it was over than I had ever felt before.
The following morning I read in the New Haven newspaper: “This new player, Bettger, had a barrel of enthusiasm. He inspired our boys. They not only won the game, but looked better then at any time this season.”
Within ten days my enthusiasm took me from $25 a month to $185 a month. I got this increase in salary not because I had any more ability as a ball player. I’ve got it because of the determination to act enthusiastically.

The enthusiasm that Frank showed was the antidote to the resistance that was ruling his life before. His firm determination, not to give in to resistance and its foul talk, but to act with such power that the resistance moved out of the way. So it was not true that he could get rid of his nervousness by taking it easy. The opposite was true. Only when he started to act did the nervousness loose it’s grip, and in fact it started to work for him.

This is my own free translation of the beginning of Bhagavad Gita. Gita is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna taking place in front of a writing desk, just after that Arjuna has decided to do a thirty minutes writing exercise. Think of Arjuna as yourself and Krishna as the genius inside you. Arjuna is a writer, his duty is to write. When confronted with the task of writing, the resistance kicks in, starts to reason, giving logical and compassionate and clever talk.

"Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, see my life’s situation. I am overweight, old and tired. I have a job I hardly endure, my son’s education is going down the drain. The laundry and the dishes are piling up. My office looks like a junk yard and the cellar too. I’m always bitter, shouting at my wife and the kids. I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up. My whole body is trembling, my hair is standing on end, my pen is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning. I am unable to sit here any longer. What good will this writing do me. I’ll never get published. I’ve read about a successful writer who wrote for ten years before his first book was published and additional seven years before he made his first writing dollar. I don’t have seventeen years, I’ll be dead before that. What’s the point of trying. I see only causes of misfortune. I do not see how any good can come from giving up my life in order to write, nor can I, see any true happiness from it. Neglecting my wife, my children, my job and my friends. I am not prepared for that. It would be a sinful act.
“Arjuna, having thus spoken, cast aside his pen, his mind overwhelmed with grief.”

However Krishna is not impressed. Listen to his answer.

My dear Arjuna, how have these delusions come upon you? They are not at all fit for a man who knows the value of life. Do not yield to the voice of resistance. It is not worthy of you. Give up such petty weakness and arise. Considering your specific duty, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than writing and so there is no need for hesitation. Therefore start writing with determination. Write for the sake of writing, without considering happiness or pain, loss or gain, victory or defeat—and by so doing you shall not miss your true target. Writers are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. You have right to write, but not to get published. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your writing, and never be attached if your work is refuted or ridiculed. Those who crave to get published and make money from their writing are misers. When your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion, you shall become indifferent to all that has been heard from and all that is to be heard from resistance."

Krishna knows that reasoning is just a smoke corridor created by the resistance, trying to get Arjuna from accomplishing his task. He advices Arjuna not to reason when writing. The reasoning is the “forest of delusions” and although it is not possible to make the voice of resistance stop, Arjuna should be indifferent to it and stop paying attention to it. He should treat it as mental noise and “be resolute in purpose, with one aim”, to sit down and write.

Brande was an unsuccessful writer. In twenty years time as a writer she had written 17 short stories and 20 book reviews. Then she came across a formula for success and in two years time she wrote 3 books, 24 articles, 4 short stories and gave 72 lectures. What was that formula and how did she find it? On day Brande was reading “Human Personality” by F. Myers. In a chapter about hypnotism she read about remarkable achievements that persons under hypnosis were able to make. The reason they were able to make those achievements was that hypnotic suggestion inhibited the voice of resistance from reaching their conscience. This set free whatever group of aptitudes were required for the moment. So, is there any other way to silence the voice of resistance, other then being hypnotized? Yes, there is. Brande says:

How convenient it would be if each of us could carry a hypnotist about, to cast his spell whenever we had to get to work! How marvelous if each of us could have his own private Svengali! Impossible, of course; and more than that, undesirable. Fortunately, it is not at all necessary to be put under the sway of another‘s will in order to do our work. The solution is far simpler. All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success.

It’s Sunday morning and yesterday we had a small get-together with some friends. We ate and talked until late. Going into the kitchen, I put the coffee on. To the left of me a huge pile of dishes stares at me. Greasy pans, empty glasses with puddles of wine, fork, knives and spoons helter-skelter with plates and left overs. You get the picture. I really don’t feel setting about with the dishes. My trick is to say to myself: “OK, it is too much, but you can take care of just five plates. Do them and then you are free to pursue other things”.

It doesn’t take many minutes to do the five plates, so I decide to take five glasses as well. Now I feel jaunty from the success, so I decide to take care of the forks. It goes much smoother then I thought and before long all the forks, spoons and knifes are taken care of. I feel pleased with myself. The coffee is ready so I take a cup and go to my office and work on my computer. Oddly enough I feel that I have more energy now then when stepped into the kitchen.

After half an hour I take a little break and go down to the kitchen to take another cup of coffee. The sink doesn’t look as threatening as before. I think I’ll take care of the glasses. Said and done, and I continue with the coffee cups and the rest of the plates. Only pots and pans are left. I do a last effort. Hurray, the dishes are done!

This victory becomes important for me. The following days I do not allow the dishes to pile up. Every time I’m in the kitchen I say to myself that I will leave it in better condition then I’ve found it in. You can always do something. Put the dry dishes in the cupboard, wipe the sink, throw away the garbage bag, and so on. To keep the kitchen in good form gives me a wonderful feeling of being in control instead of being controlled. When I shop I fill up with washing-up liquid, dishcloths, kitchen paper and garbage bags.

The success with the dishes made me decide to also keep the fridge and the freezer in good form. No more old food whose best before date has passed. I have wiped the fridge clean and taken away old ice coverings from the freezer.

rid yourself of resistance, and do what we all have to do: Wash…the…pots!

Unless you`ve discovered a way of getting them to was them selves, or someone else to do them for you :slight_smile:

Clever, clever… I opened the Bhagavad Gita to see the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna; of course, it regards Arjuna’s refusal to fight and kill his friends and relatives. Krishna spends the entire book, as far as I can see, persuading him to do so.

Clever. Wish I’d thought of it.

Personally I like to kick arses.

It seems to get the job done, shows who is boss and it feels good.

I mean if arses were not meant to be kicked why are they there in the place and time to accept it ?

Paul

Myself I plunder, pillage, and decimate when I feel I am justified in my actions.

In the south there are many a place to bury a body. The hard part is not finding a place but rather digging the hole.

If you can get the “client” to Thailand 3K - 10K baht should hire you a driver a pickup truck a hammer and a spade.
Check me up on the internet. It is being done.

Paul
The reason why burying is expensive in the south is everything is being built on.

Once upon a time there lived a young boy who fell in love with a beautiful princess. All he could think of was to be with her and touch her fair skin. One day after working in the forest, he sat down to eat his lunch by the side of a brook. Scarcely had he sat down when an old frog appeared. “I’m so hungry, could you give me something to eat”. The boy looked at the old frog and felt sorry for her. “I have not so much food, but you are welcome to have what I have”. The frog thanked the boy and said she would grant him one wish when he disparately needed one. The boy laughed and got back to work.

One day the princess got very sick and was about to die. The doctors could do nothing, but an old sorceress said there was a cure. A blue apple grew in a hidden place in the forest, and if anybody could bring it to the princess she would be cured. The king announced that the man who could bring the blue apple would get the princess and half the kingdom. As the boy heard the news he said to himself: “I wish I knew where that blue apple is”. In the same moment the old frog appeared and said to the boy. “Go to the brook where you gave me your food. Follow the brook north for three miles and you will see that it flows into a big cave. Inside the cave there is an old apple tree with one shining blue apple. Pick it and give it to the princess. But you must hurry up because the princess has only five hours left”. The boy thanked the frog and hurried to the brook.

As he was approaching the brook he suddenly heard a delightful bird song. He looked up and saw a lovely bird with bright and shining feathers in all the colors of the rainbow. Although he had spent many years in the forest, he had never seen such a graceful and enchanting bird. The bird was flying south and the boy knew he had to go north. But he said to himself: “I have plenty of time. I must see where this beautiful bird is going”. So he ran after the bird and got tired and thirsty. He now remembered that there was a nice tavern nearby. He went to the tavern and saw to his surprise that his best friend was there. They treated each other with several cold beers. It was so pleasant that the boy forgot about the time. When he finally did remember his task, he thanked the friend for the company and hurried out of the tavern. But there was the old frog. “Why didn’t you do as I said. Five hours have passed and the princess is dead”. The boy was ashamed to admit that he had done wrong so he answered. “Well you know old frog, I saw the most beautiful bird. And I had such a good time with my best friend. I’m sorry that the princess is dead, but maybe she was not meant to be mine. Maybe she would nag at me, and maybe she had a bad breath. Maybe the best thing happened after all”.

P.S. This is a fairytale, but as all fairy tales it has a hidden meaning. Would you care to interpret it.

Here’s an interpretation. The boy represents us and the princess our potential success in life. The frog is our inner true self which calls us when life fulfilling opportunities present themselves. The bird represents our ego-self that distracts us from our true path. The tavern represents the short term gratification. The boys complaint about that princess might have a bad breath represents our compliant that life is a bitch.

K’ung Fu-tzu would say, "This guy bob is a Wind Up Merchant.

I looked up the phrase “Wind Up Merchant” and it seems to be a kind of teaser. But I’m not doing this in order to tease anybody. I do it because that’s the simplest way for me to write. I get an idea and I know that I have no energy to write the whole piece in one sitting. But I do have energy to start it. Once started, the brain starts to work in mysterious ways and generates ideas and energy for additional continuation. Why do I publish it unfinished? Because I know that the energy and ideas come only if the unfinished piece is published and someone is looking at it. Otherwise the magic doesn’t happen. :smiley:

K`ung Fu-tzu would say, “The kettle calls the pot black!”

Take care
Kettle

The kitchen is just one example. The same principles apply to other areas like keeping the order in your cellar, keeping order on your hard disk, writing a book or starting your own company. Since the method is so powerful, let’s analyze it. What was it that made the task of washing the dishes, that looked so overwhelming, so easy?

The first thing we notice is that the threshold for the task was lowered. From fix all the dishes to fix just five plates. When this first step was done, I could have stopped, but the success generated mental energy and made it possible to take another step. A little step is not threatening. It is easy to finish and generates energy. So a large task can be accomplished as a series of small steps, each step feeding the other.

Why did I have to go this roundabout way to fix the dishes. Why couldn’t I just fix the dishes all at once and be done with it, without a lot of talk and subgoals? The answer is that I could have done it, if I didn’t feel threatened. A threat implies that something happens in the brain. The psychologist call it fight or flight response. The response was discovered by the neurologist Walter Cannon in 1929 (although sages have known it for thousands of years). The response is an instinct, which means that you can’t control it consciously. When the brain interprets something as a threat it emits hormones that make the body ready to run away or stay put and fight.

Imagine a cave man whose family is attacked by a hostile tribe. As soon as the cave man hears the battle cries, his brain prepares for flight or fight. A number of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are pumped into the blood stream. His breathing frequency increases and more oxygen is absorbed by his body. The blood flow is redistributed from metabolism to the muscles and the limbs. The pupils are widened and his attention is increased. The cave man looks intensively out for the enemies and notices the slightest change. He prepares for the battle, both physically and psychologically. If the enemy seems superior the flight is eminent. If the enemy seems weak (or if all the escape routs are closed), fight is a better choice.

Even though the cavemen era is gone, our brains have not changed. When threatened our flight or fight response starts automatically. That is exactly what happened when I saw the huge pile of dishes. My brain interpreted the sight of the pile as a superior enemy and it tried to convince me to run away. But by introducing the subgoal of just fixing five plates, I changed the situation to my advantage. The new enemy was perceived as weak, someone I could easily defeat, which I also did.

When a goal is defined, a tension is created in the brain between the actual state and the goal state. When the goal is achieved the brain reacts by releasing mental energy that can be used for new tasks. It was this released energy which made it possible to accomplish an additional subgoal, and then another, until all the dishes were done. The released energy whetted my appetite and created conditions to move the positions ahead, even beyond the dishes themselves. I began to keep the whole kitchen in order and that created more energy and well being.

Let’s take another example. Let’s say that you want to write an article. This task seems overwhelming and you have difficulty starting. You find one excuse after another. You are tired (in spite of sleeping for 8 hours), you have to little time (in spite having spent 3 hours in front of TV), the task is boring (in spite of imagining how wonderful it would be to be a writer), you are to lazy (in spite of putting the 10 000 pieces jigsaw puzzle together), you have more important things to do (in spite of putting writing as the priority one). Why all this resistance and all these excuses? The answer, as you probably have guessed, is that writing the article seems overwhelming and has woken up your flight response. In its eagerness to protect you, your brain is generating all possible reasons to make you ran from the threat.

What you need to do, is to readjust from flight to fight. How do you do that? By redefining the task, so that you become the superior one. And how can you do that? There are several ways:

  • You can decide to write a “bad” article. By insisting that the article should be good, you are giving it the upper hand, but by insisting that it should be “bad” you come on the top.

  • Decide to write for only 10 minutes.

  • Decide to write down some keywords and then a short article that contains those keywords. Let go of the demand that the article must be connected.

There are of course other tricks (see the thread “How do you write?”).

When you feel superior to this newly defined subtask, then you take the fight willingly. And when the subtask is done, energy is released which gives you opportunity to advance.

It sounds simple and it is simple. But observe what happens if you do not redefine the task, but give in to the threat and run away. Instead of getting energy, the energy is drained. It becomes harder to take a step forward, not only regarding this task but also other tasks. You get into i a vicious circle and your life turns into waste land. But if yo get into a good, energy generating circle, you can become a human dynamo.

The end