A Spiritual Curriculum: Escaping from the Clinging of Your Mind

Sometimes you’ve got a partner who is a fully conscious being. Usually however, we aren’t dealt quite that hand. So, we take what we’ve got, and we work with it. The ideal situation is when you’re working with collaborators who wish to awaken as you wish to awaken, and you help each other, as we’re trying to do here.

When you’re working with people who don’t particularly want to awaken, and they’re taking their drama very seriously and they don’t want to awaken out of it, then that becomes your work on yourself; not something that you are any longer a collaborator within, but you’ve got to use it on yourself. Sometimes you can’t convert it in the situation, because it’s too thick, and there’s too much attachment to you.

Remember, the only thing catching you is your own mind. They’re not catching you. They’re being a stinker, or a complete ingrate, or whatever, and that’s their problem. Your problem is that you’re buying it. That’s your mind, and the clinging of your mind. That’s your need to be loved, that’s your – it’s whatever it is in you. So that’s where you’ve got to focus back in on your stuff, not on their stuff.

If they’re a problem for themselves, that’s their karma. If they’re causing you trouble, that’s your problem. Your job is to clear yourself.

Now, in ideal situations, you clear yourself right in the situation, but very often it’s too thick and you can’t do it. You do the stuff that quiets you down, and then each time you go into a situation where you have to work, you lose it again. And then you go home and you see how you lost it, and you examine it. And then you go the next day, and you lose it again.

After a while, as you’re starting to lose it, you don’t buy in so much. You start to watch the mechanics of what it is that makes you lose it all the time.

Like, if I’m not appreciated, that’s your problem, that you don’t appreciate me. Unless I need your love; then that’s my problem. So my needs are what are creating and giving you power over me.

Those people’s power over you, to take you out of your equanimity and love and consciousness, has to do with your own attachments and clinging of the mind. That’s your work on yourself. That’s where you need to meditate more. It’s where you need to reflect more. It’s where you need a deeper philosophical framework. It’s where you need to cultivate the witness more. It’s where you need to work on practicing opening your heart more in circumstances that aren’t optimal. This is your work. You were given a heavy curriculum; that’s it. There’s no blame, it’s not even wrong. It’s just what you’re given.

– Ram Dass

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