Our society tends to reinforce the view that everything is 'me' and 'mine'. 'This body is me; I look like this; I am a man; I am an American; I am 54 years old; I am an abbot.' But these are just conventions, aren't they? We're not saying I'm not these things; rather we're observing how we tend to complicate them by believing in the 'I am'. If we attach to them, life becomes so much more than it actually is; it becomes like a sticky web. It gets so complicated; whatever we touch sticks to us. And the longer we live the more complicated we make it. So much fear and desire comes from that commitment to 'I am' -- to being somebody. Eventually they take us to anxiety and despair; life seems much more difficult and painful than it really is.
But when we just observe life for what it is, then it's all right: the delights, the beauty, the pleasures, are just that. The pain, the discomfort, the sickness, are what they are. We can always cope with the way life moves and changes. The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of the ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.
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