Monday, September 13, 2010

No Demands

I've just come back from a weekend with Peter Fenner as part of his Radiant Mind program, where I help as a coach for some of the students.

Peter said many things during the course of the weekend that I think express the purpose of practice, of trying to find a better way to be in the world. This is the purpose of the Radiant Mind program--to find a way of being, ever present, that eases our suffering.

"What we are doing," Peter said, "is exploring a way of being in which we make no demands on ourselves."

That sounds easy. And wonderful.

And yet much of the time we don't do it.

Some might say that they don't create demands on themselves. That others do, and all they do is respond. But there are people whose demands I routinely ignore. We are the ones who validate others' demands, so at least in that sense, all demands are ones that we have placed on ourselves.

Some demands--the demands of a boss for example--feel quite persistent. And if we want to keep our job (an interesting inquiry in and of itself!) we generally must comply. But almost all demands can be delayed for a time, or met in one of several ways. Almost all demands offer some space around them.

The invitation is to explore that space, and to see what arises.


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