What helped the most?

A friend asked by email:

What has really worked for you?

Different things helped at different times. It’s hard to know what helped the most, but if I had to recommend a single practice, I’d say the most important thing was destroying vasanas, especially painful vasanas, by seeing them as fully as possible without any effort to change them and by abandoning resistance to them.

When I say “vasanas” I mean memories and facts and thoughts that haunt us, that arise repeatedly.

I don’t think I’ve ever discussed vasanas on this blog, not a single time, so this answer may be surprising, but I didn’t realize the importance of destroying vasanas till the last two years and I never got around to writing about it.

The technique that worked for me was to look at the vasana as calmly and objectively and completely as possible. I remembered the painful memories and events, reviewed how I feel about them, etc. I faced all that and admitted to myself, “These things are part of ‘me’ and part of my life and I hate them. I hate them, but they are there and that’s the reality.”

I didn’t try to stop hating them. I didn’t try to stop regretting them. I didn’t try to change my feelings. I didn’t try to change anything. I only tried to see everything about the vasana as completely and objectively as possible with all my intelligence. When I say “intelligence”, I mean my ordinary intelligence. My ordinary life experience.

The key was that I stopped resisting them. Whatever fact or memory they are based on, so what?

Vasanas are the fuel of the mind. When the vasanas are gone, the mind becomes quiet.

When I get time I want to write about one particular vasana that I destroyed this way. It will be a good example.

3 thoughts on “What helped the most?

  1. Hi Freddie

    Was reading this last night and it is key as the vasanas re-emerge and cloud insight and understanding until they are removed at the root. This is what happened with me. Would really help to hear about your example when you have time. Much love xxx

    1. Dear Louise,

      Can you say anything more about how your vasanas got removed at the root? Have you written an article about it?

      Thanks for encouraging me to write the article about my example. I’ll try. Lately there’s been no motivation to write anything.

      Love,

      Freddie

      1. Hi Freddie

        I meant the vasanas re-emerged. I had succeeded in getting them to subside so there was no evidence for a year or so, but I think they had not been removed at the root, so was hoping to learn from your example 🙂

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