Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why ask Why?

Clench your fist. Do it now, and make it hard too. Hold on to it while you read this entry. And while you’re at it, think about something that someone said, or did that hurt you oh so many decades ago. Think about it hard. Observe your feelings, your thoughts. Think about it while you read.
I have a surprise for you.
And it’s so simple and so easy you won’t get it at first. But you will. I promise.
And the answer is found in six simple syllables.
That’s right.
Just six.
Still have a good grip? Is it slipping a bit? Tiring a little, perhaps? Are your fingers numb yet? Good. Keep grasping.
And while you’ve got a white knuckled grip on what’s going on inside your head (remember that memory I asked you to dig up?) think about this:

Long ago something happened to me. Something awful. Something I could neither comprehend nor avoid. For a long time I held onto this incident in my life, gripped tightly to it. At night I’d run it around in my head, over and over again. Why did this happen? Why?
I promise you that the people involved in this never spent one single solitary moment’s of sleep over it. I, however, suffered for decades, wondering, worrying, walking the house like a ghost in the night, unable to forgive or forget.
Always asking the why questions.

Are your fingers numb yet?

It wasn’t until quite a while later, after being cast adrift spiritually and physically that I found Lama Jigme and his teachings. I didn’t believe or trust the teachings at first, and why should I? I was just beginning to learn and to question things that I had kept a white knuckled grip on for over 40 years.

And then, one day, during practice (and believe me I practiced a lot before the epiphany struck home) I found the answer.

The key was in the asking of why.
Why did this happen?
Why did my parents let this happen?
Why did things work out the way they did?

Now, if you haven’t released your grip yet, do so now. Feel the blood rushing back into your fingers, the tingling of nerves ease. Feel the great sense of relief of having let go.

That’s how it feels to let go, physically, mentally and spiritually.

You can hold onto your anguish, your anger, your hatred. You can hate for years, maybe even decades, but what good will it do you? Eventually, Karma (like those sore tendons and muscles in your hand) kicks in and you have to release your grip. You have to, because no one can hold on forever.

The key that Buddha found when he let go oh so long ago is the same key we ourselves can use to give up our grasp on lifetimes of suffering.

And it’s so simple. Just six syllables will do it.
That and giving up on why questions.

What is the answer to why? There isn’t any. Not in the truest sense. Why do bad things happen? Why doesn’t God prevent it? Why doesn’t God love me enough to protect me? Why?

People spend their entire lives with a fist clenched in their chest, their minds eaten away by nonsensical why questions that cannot nor will ever be answered. The only thing you get with why questions is circular reasoning, going back to the incident over and over again, asking the same questions, treading the carpet of your soul threadbare and generates endless lifetimes of suffering.

Who wants that?

So, here’s how you take care of it. Here are the six syllables needed to conquer the circular reasonings of why.

Letting go.

Or if you’re Christian try this:

Jesus Christ
Letting Go

And if you’re Pagan this works just as well:
Letting go
So be it

Gah, you say. It’s too easy. I’ve been through hell and back. You have no idea the torments this life has given me. Because of that I’ve got to go take a multitude of drugs, spend endless hours in therapy, gobble a bucketful of chicken and spend endless nights in front of the tv with Ben and Jerry. I’ve got to, mull it over and over and try affirmations and ask endless why questions before I can ever get my head straight on again.

Don’t believe me?
Give it a try.
What could it hurt?
And if you still don’t’ believe me, contact Lama Jigme and schedule a phone conversation with him.

After all, he’s the one who taught me. And if I can do it, I promise you, anyone can.
What could you let go of, except that constant knot in your chest?


  1. Pat,

    This is absolutely stunning. Thank you for your amazing insights.



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