How do You Measure Progress Along Your Path?

Is it what you do or what you don’t do

Normally an internal or external stimulus arises and we are immediately reacting to it with self-criticism, shame, anger, joy. We are always in resistance with what is present and either want more or less of it. We are present with desire or aversion. This is the most obvious reaction to be aware of.

As we become more mindful there is a change in our relationship with the present moment. The initial reactive anger, sadness, shame, fear are present but one is able to be present with awareness, openness, allowing and just letting it be. One is following the middle way with nothing to do or not do. One can become aware of this lack of reaction to the present moment experience.

Ultimately, we progress to the point that we don’t even create an initial reactive response and creation of a sense of self to what is present in the moment. One is just present with what is independent of what one needs it to be, wants it to be and believes it to be. This non-reaction is the most difficult to be aware of as there is no sense of self that is in conflict with what is present. There is nothing to react to and nothing that reacts to it.

One needs to deliberately look for this. I become aware of what I don’t do when I am with other people who are reacting to what is present and I don’t even see that there is a problem. It is so informative to look to see what you don’t do!

by Dr. Phil Blustein
Jan. 4, 2024