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  • Daniel Rodman

Non-Disturbance


A sign of a seasoned meditator is that they are not as easily disturbed by the obstacles that arise in life. Not that they feel less, in fact they feel more, and more deeply. Their minds are not disturbed by what they feel. This state of non-disturbance can easily be taken as a practice of vigilance, to notice when your mind becomes disturbed, and to take steps to let go.

Let's take for example some situation that causes you to be afraid, say this corona virus pandemic. Your may be afraid to be near people outside your home, worry about the health of your friends and family, and feel like the world is breaking down. What is good to reflect on is that the most capable mind able to deal with such large scale situations is an un-disturbed one. You may feel upset, you may feel compassion for your loved ones, and feel the call to action. But when your mind is disturbed, it is an ungrounded, clouded, extreme state of mind that is mostly rooted in attachment. The best thing you can do for your loved-ones is radiate an un-disturbed, calm mind that is clear and capable of functioning well amidst uncertainty.

Disturbance in our mind always has a distinct feeling associated with it, one of negativity, ungroundedness, and neurotic emotional attachment. Attached to our own views, we are disturbed when other people disagree with us. Attached to our social status, we are disturbed whenever people challenge us and it makes us worry we are less. Attached to having things just so will make us disturbed whenever people make disorder around us. It is a simple pattern that whatever we are neurotically attached to, we will be disturbed when anyone threatens it.

This especially applies to our own ego and sense of self. If we are attached to our ego than everything that threatens it, one way or another, will disturb us. This is considered a primary basis of all other states of attachment, which is why letting go of our ego is a primary practice in spirituality. We recognize all the ways we hold on to our idea of ourselves and let that go, putting attitudes of love and service in its place. Ultimately, having complete release from ego is the basis for spiritual liberation and enlightenment, our minds completely freed form the ignorance at the root of our own suffering.

Disturbance in our mind can act as a red flag. Whenever that red flag comes, we can say “I recognize disturbance in my mind and I release it.” From there we can take things anew from a more un-attached wholesome attitude, one that is more capable of dealing with the situation.

Practicing non-disturbance is a highly beneficial practice, one which can liberate us from the perpetual habit of mental disturbance and attachment. It leads to a more fulfilling life, since we are not as disturbed all the time. Notice the red flags when they arise, be your own best caretaker. Use your breath as a refuge, and the centered place within you. May you learn the practice of non-disturbance that you may see the unwanted edge of your life be whittled down till it is smooth and gentle.

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