Becoming Mindset vs Accepting Mindset

For this stress comes into play

in dependence on every acquisition.

With the ending of every clinging/sustenance,

there’s no stress coming into play.

Look at this world:

Beings, afflicted with thick ignorance,

are unreleased

from passion for what has come to be.

All levels of becoming,

anywhere,

in any way,

are inconstant, stressful, subject to change.

Seeing this–as it’s come to be–

with right discernment,

one abandons craving for becoming

and doesn’t delight in non-becoming.3

From the total ending of craving

comes fading & cessation without remainder:

unbinding.

For the monk unbound

through lack of clinging/sustenance,

there’s no further becoming.

He has conquered Māra,

won the battle,

having gone beyond becomings

Such.

Ud 3:10 (https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/Ud/ud3_10.html)

There is a paradox in the spiritual path, in the adult development path, in the life path.

We move from dependence on our caretakers to a social identity based on peers to individualization of one’s values and beliefs.

It’s a pretty huge step going independent from one’s culture, one’s family, one’s expected path.

A lot of people who come to therapy, to meditation retreats, to circling immersions, to coaching, and self-help books are trying to become better. Trying to become my ideal self.

There’s always some wound that needs healing. Some skill I need to master. Some future becoming that promises fulfillment and wholeness.

And on one hand, it is kind of true. One can and does and ought to learn more skills. To receive the needed care and nourishment they missed out on. Development is a real thing.

But, then, a decade can go by. Two decades. And it seems that this pursuit of Becoming Better is its own form of delusion and suffering.

We replaced the masters of society or family or religion or work and instead made our cravings and passions into our master.

When we see the futility of this never-ending pursuit, we drop hope/fear (longing/dejection) for the world, for a future self, for anything and instead attend to what is here right now. Rather than pursuing some ideal Becoming, we utilize a skillful form of Becoming to pay attention to our Being. This is how we enter jhana. This is how you enter presence.

This is the path of say (good) therapy, circling, meditation. Martial arts. Yoga. Qigoing. It is the opposite of say Facebook, YouTube, advertising, and most prevalent forms of entertainment, comfort, and pleasure.

Because maybe this constant pursuit for Becoming is based on something we absolutely do not want to feel. Based on some addiction or passion we are not conscious of. And if that’s the case then the root of the problem is not on achieving the object of our passions but rather looking at the passion itself.

How to move towards a total acceptance of what is? Of who I am? Of the multitude of what I experience and what’s happening. This itself is a type of Becoming Work to become aware and accepting enough to notice experience without getting hooked.

In meditation, the question might be, “What if this breathe however it shows up is the perfect breathe? This very breathe right now.”

In circling, the question might be, “What if the way things are right now is actually perfect?”

And in life, the question might be, “What if this was exactly what is suppose to happen?”

Some may worry that this is justifying all types of terrible things. War. Violence. Abuse.

But the point is not to become a passive witness to life. Rather, it is to stop fighting existence and instead collaborate with Life towards truth, beauty, love. If we are actually rejecting some part of what already is existence then we are already in conflict with truth. And truth always win.

Then the Buddhist form of karma where on one hand, we take full acceptance for what is AND simultaneously we take full responsibility of our response towards what will be. We are both a product of our past actions and our current response.

I see this paradox and addiction showing up for me often. I constantly am trying to make sense of what am I to become now? What is my role in this life? Seeking an identity, a location, a network to Become and thereby feel whole again. But this is a fool’s errand if I cannot first stay at the level of Being. I am not a problem to be fixed or healed or solved. Rather, this life is an unfolding in partnership with Life itself.

More Readings:

  • https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/paradoxofbecoming.pdf

  • Search Adult Development for Teal vs Turquiose stages

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