Why The Work Can’t Help You

Dang! It happened again. I haven’t moved an inch from my desk, but my pencil’s gone. Where the heck did it go?

It’s not on the desktop. So let’s check the floor. Sometimes it rolls off and gets wedged behind the desk. Or maybe it fell in the trash can.

OK, not there. Where the heck is it? I don’t have time to waste looking for this stupid pencil.

But Waste Time I Do

I keep looking on the floor, behind the desk. I pull the whole desk out from the wall. I open the drawers and look in there. Maybe it’s in my pocket. Nope.

The only place I don’t look is on my desktop. Because I’m sure it’s not there. I’m sure it rolled off somewhere and got hidden.

And so I miss the pencil sitting right beside my book, in plain view on my desktop.

That’s What Happens When You Think You Know

The mind is closed when you’re sure of things.

It happens all the time in daily life. And it happens when we do The Work.

That’s why The Work can’t help us much when our mind is already made up. There’s no room for any other point of view.

The Work Is A Simple Way To Question What You Believe

It’s an invitation to look in places you might not think to look. It is exploration.

And The Work is helpful when you’re in the grip of something stressful. It gets you to consider the very opposite of what you think is true. It is an invitation to look again, and see if maybe the pencil is right there after all, and you’ve just been missing it.

But Like Looking For A Pencil, The Work Is Only Helpful If Your Mind Is Open

When you’re sure the pencil is not on the desktop, you don’t look there. You look everywhere else instead. Likewise, when you’re sure that someone wronged you, you’re mind’s not open to the possibility that they did not.

When the mind is closed, you can’t see the possibility that they might have had kind intentions underneath it all. You can’t imagine how hard it might have been for them.

The mind is closed. And that is that. The door is shut. And The Work can’t help you.

The Work Is Just A Bunch Of Questions

How can it help you? It can’t.

It’s what you do with those questions that can help you. The Work is an invitation to look again. If you take the invitation seriously, it’s what you find that sets you free. The questions cannot find it, that’s your job.

Only your truth can set you free. The questions just prompt you to find your truth where you least expected it. But it’s you, and only you, that can make the leap.

But What If Your Mind And Heart Are Shut?

Can you still do The Work? Well, honestly, it depends. You can always try, and you’ll find out.

We all have a certain shutness when we come to The Work. That’s what stress is. That why we’re stuck.

If you try doing The Work, and you remain stuck, consider if you might be overlooking something. Maybe there is a truth in plain sight, like the pencil on my desktop, that you’re missing. This attitude of exploration really helps a lot.

Another Thing That Helps Is Reading The Work Of Others

When you read another person’s process of exploration in The Work, you sometimes get ideas for how to proceed yourself. Doing The Work is a skill that develops with experience. And exposure to other people doing The Work can help the growth of your experience a lot.

My weekly newsletter is a great way to read The Work in action, and to see others finding their truths. Subscribe to The Work As Meditation newsletter below. Who knows, you might just find a missing pencil there.

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