Wednesday, April 3, 2013

That’s Just How It Is

It has come to my attention that our Sangha focus for the year, “The Cooperative of Practice: Being Lit Up Together” may be causing some confusion and potential suffering.

As we well know, egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate will use anything and everything to maintain its control over a person’s attention. So, we can’t be too surprised that conditioned mind has come up with a way to attempt to snag our current practice focus and turn it for its benefit.

I suppose there are lots of ways “Cooperative of Practice” and “Lit Up Together” could be turned into “maintaining the illusion of a separate self,” but here’s the one I’ve been hearing about.

People are getting talked into believing that “having the fun of being in the present” and “being lit up with what you’re doing” means to go out and buy and do all the things you’ve always wanted to have and do. The result is that people are too “spent,” in every sense of the word, to be able to participate in practice. “I’m cancelling the retreat I signed up for because I’m going to a writing workshop.” “I can’t make it to sitting group for a while because I have a belly-dancing class that night.” “I need to stop my monthly financial support of practice because I’m going on an expensive trip.”

That’s really NOT what we’re going for in “Being Lit Up Together.” That’s not even what we’re going for in being lit up!

The lit up we’re talking about—and the only authentic lit up there is—comes from being in Life in the moment. It doesn’t come from the ego getting something it claims to want. Yes, there can be excitement and great fun in “getting something new and shiny for me,” and we all know how quickly that passes into remorse or disappointment or a focus on the next new and shiny ego wants to consume and turn into dissatisfaction.

Now, let us be perfectly clear: I am not saying a person shouldn’t go to writing workshops or learn to belly-dance or go on grand trips. Not at all. What I am saying is that if we do ANYTHING instead of practice it will end in disappointment and dissatisfaction. Why? Because everything that comes from and is done for ego-I must inevitably end in disappointment and dissatisfaction. That’s just how it is.

So please don’t be confused about this and don’t get bamboozled. First and foremost, you must devote yourself to what satisfies your heart/mind. You must be with Life. When that’s the case, with Life guiding your choices and decisions, you will never be disappointed or dissatisfied. That’s just how it is.



  1. Hi Cheri,
    thanks for your posts. I'm new to this - is there any class or something available to sign up for at the moment?
    I really want to get on with a practice dealing with self-hate. Also, just ordered one of your books.

  2. Cześć/ Hi Cheri,
    First of all, I've read your book called "There's nothing wrong with you: going beyond self-hate", or so. It was entertaining me, for the most part.I'm not sure now, but it was probably funny as well.
    But it just seems to me that all this "spiritual" circle, including your persona, is equally "truthful" or "right" as any other circle of a particular perception, any other opinion of any random person.
    It just seems to me there's no such thing as practice. Meaning, practice is everything anyway. You cannot "do" it, because it's not a specific thing. It's not sitting in lotus position, it's not washing the dishes.
    You are writing: "if we do ANYTHING instead of practice it will end in disappointment and dissatisfaction." But practice is disappointing and dissatisfying as well! It's not some kind of a holy cow, or a shelter. I mean, it can be, but it seems to me it's just a matter of belief, a matter of desire.
    So, maybe you are just suggestive enough to make people "buy into" this story of "OK, maybe this thing will change me". And I'm not saying it won't. I'm just saying it seems to me it is equally effective as any other thing one can do, be it dancing, singing while taking a shower, nail painting, writing this comment, anything.Myself, I do sit on my zafu everyday or almost everyday. But I'm rather convinced that it's self-hate wanting to practice, not "compassion" or something. If there is awakening or enlightenment, as described in many books and by many YouTube talkers, then it will happen anyway. If one is asleep, one will wake up. It seems it's like: I'm allowing this state of affairs, and I will wake myself up. In fact, it can happen anytime. And still, nothing is certain.