being comfortable with not knowing

We don't get to nibbana and the end of suffering until we reach the end of the world


Our desire to "figure out the world and life" stems from a craving for immediate security, immediate control, immediate avoidance of any discomfort.

—The conceptual, linguistic, literal mind wants to figure it all out so that we can live without loss or discomfort.

—The left hemisphere is the source of so much of our optimism and sense of control.


We cobble together maps of the world, people, life, from a vast array of second hand sources, “common sense,” which point us towards external, short term happiness.

—“Work hard and you can accomplish anything." “Absence makes the heart grow stronger.” Not always true.

—Views are simplistic, reductionist,subject to examples that break the rules


A feeling of control and power that derives from believing we've got it all sussed, rather than our mind is just filled with a bunch of second hand ideas that help us some of the time.

—fueled by fear of discomfort, our views of how the world works are invariably shadowed by fear and anxiety.


We make reductionist, globalizing statements that don't recognize that 1) change occurs; 2) discomfort occurs; 3) nothing external is truly controllable.

—this is why the buddha's 3 views of existence are the exact opposite.


No matter how much we've got it all worked out, we get stung by loss, and feel confused & betrayed.

being with loss is one of the most challenging experiences for the mind

the mind, wanting to have it "figured it all out", reacts as if there's something desperately wrong, we're victimized, unfairly treated.

—the mind's attitude is that “i haven't figured out yet”


So the mind springs into action, adjusting the formula, reworking what it means, to "fix our map of life" so that we don't have to suffer again.

—when we see loss, we search for the little slogan.

—papanca arises, mental agitation, suffering.

—this proliferation creates the sense that the experience wont pass, as we're rekindling it with the endless "figuring out what it means"


not knowing what it means or how to avoid it again in the future is powerlessness, which the conceptual mind despises.


when we can't figure it out, then we search for distractions (sex, drugs, tv, etc) to divert our attention from feeling or processing the loss.


The mind can even jump to dark conclusions in a last ditch effort to protect us.

—This is all there is, get used to it. I'm always be a mess" which only makes us suffer more!

—There is no way to understand or figure out what loss means


Water Snake sutta/raft analogy. The buddha taught to hold onto our views lightly.


rather than figure out what it means, the goal is to know how we're feeling now, and how we're resisting it.

—feelings pass.

—how am i adding resistance?

—can i simply acknowledge the "figuring it all out" chatter without empowering it?

—can i keep breathing deeply in the chest and abdomen, and relax what areas in the body are tensing against the experience?


by observing feeling states, we see that its changing all the time.

by sharing our experience, we understand that its not personal.

by developing happiness within, we know that the world isn't the sole source of happiness.