11/27/2010

Worry About Everthing or Nothing

"Don't worry." (Lord Jesus, Matthew 6)
"Don't worry." (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita 18)

We either have nothing to worry about, or everything to worry about. Worry is not selective. Once we become a worrier, we worry about everything, from the collapse of civilization to a smudge on our collar. Worry becomes our way of life, our identity. If we can't find a problem to worry about, we invent one.

So much of our mental energy invested in worry! But we can choose to put this energy into observing the worry rather than feeding it. Thus we create a space that is far more vast than anything we could worry about, and this vasteness is the awareness of the Witness. 


Shifting energy from the content of worry to its observation, awareness grows clear and sharp, and the worry becomes a mere sensation in the body. Try it and see. 

It is impossible to simply stop worrying or suppress it: that leads to inner warfare and stress. But if we become aware of our worry and watch it, as a mother watches over her crying children, then the energy of the mind resolves into clarity, a clarity overflowing with compassion. Compassion cannot worry.

At the end of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, Don't worry (18:66).
And in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6, Jesus says it over and over again: don't worry. Don't worry about what you will eat... Don't worry about what you will wear... Don't worry about tomorrow. Instead, he tells us, we  might live as flowers in the field and birds in the air, utterly natural in the present moment, free of worry. That is real faith.

To worry is to be unnatural, tangled in the past and future. The past and future do not exist in nature. The past and future only exist in the mind. The mind is unnatural.

Don't take it from me: take it from Jesus and Krishna! There is no need to worry about anything, not even death. Once we go down the path of worry, fastening the mind onto one tiny problem, we worry about everything! We search for problems and catastrophize every situation. Worry becomes our food.

The cure for worry is surrender of the mind to God. Until that happens, we can practice self-observation: keep observing the worry and it will diminish. The witness will expand in silence, and the negative thoughts will lose their power, for we see that they are only stresses dissolving in the brain. 


Observation is the bridge between suffering and surrender. When the mind is afflicted with the ten thousand doubts of human life, be a Yogi and observe this mind. Then when you are ready, be a Bhakti and surrender this mind.

Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.

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