Dharma in disguise...

Gaia Girl has given me a copy of the workbook, Get Out of Your Mind & into Your Life; The New Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. I must say that this book confirms most of what I have learned from the teachings of the Buddha on groundlessness. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.  My struggle to free myself from suffering amplifies my suffering; running away from pain only serves to leave me as exhausted as the man who ran through the marketplace attempting to outrun his own shadow.

Let me use the words of Alan Watts, from that wonderful book, The Wisdom of Insecurity, to try and describe a little of what I mean:

"We are all familiar of this kind of vicious circle in the form of worry. We know that worrying is futile, but we go on doing it because calling it futile does not stop it. We worry because we feel unsafe and want to be safe. Yet it is perfectly useless to say that we should not want to be safe. Calling a desire bad names does not get rid of it. What we have to discover is that there is no safety, that seeking it is painful, and that when we imagine that we have found it, we don't like it. In other words, if we can really understand what we are looking for - that safety is isolation, and what we do to ourselves when we look for it - we shall see that we do not want it at all. No one has to tell you that you should not hold your breath for ten minutes. You know that you can't do it and that the attempt is most uncomfortable....The principal thing to understand is that there is no safety or security."

In a well presented format Hayes & Smith, without the use of robes, incense, or being thus infused with all the beautiful and colorful iconoclasm of Buddhism, present a Dharma talk that I feel, the Dali Llama himself would approve of. The Buddha taught, "Suffering and the end of suffering" and never sought a patent on the teaching. If this book unveils another view on suffering and impermanence and the impact of how dualism impacts our mind, is this not good? If examining delusion, which is created by the constant use of aversion and craving  (the exact opposite of mindfulness) leads us towards living a mindful and compassionate life, then I expect that good karma is being made manifest.

The book is designed to present the reader with a list of tools and exercises that are designed to help the reader understand in a very compassionate way, why we think and act and do as we do. As the Buddha said, "What you think, you become."

And I think this book is a very good thing.