“Seek not to cut the root of phenomena, but to cut the root of the mind. If you have to cross a field covered with thorns, and you try to cover the field with leather, you won’t succeed. It is far simpler to cover your feet with leather.” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist master
There are so many things in our life that have the potential to hurt us. Life is a field covered in thorns that we have to cross and some of us use dieting as a way to cover up the thorns with leather. We control our hunger, the amount and type of food we are allowed to eat, the prescribed amount of exercise so we can feel good and keep the thorns at bay.
But it is an endless battle. The area is too vast and the thorns too strong for us to succeed for long. Pain creeps through our defences. The struggle exhausts us. Happiness slips out of reach over and over again.
When we give up dieting we let the thorns grow wild and the sight of them frightens us. All of the pain of our relationships, our jobs, our finances and our broken dreams comes back to remind us that we are flawed and damaged. We are petrified by the thought of not controlling any of the things in our world.
And yet by letting the thorns grow where they must and not trying to cover them up with a diversionary tactic, we open ourselves up to the truth of our reality. Finally, free of our defences we can communicate with the world and hear its messages.
And along the way, we learn how to see the world in a new way. We find calmness in the face of chaos by going within. We fashion beautiful leather shoes for our feet that will protect us no matter what the terrain.
When we change the way we think, the outside world can’t hurt us any more. Events are just things that happen and we get to choose how we think about them. We face our fear and find that it is merely a doorway to vulnerability.
When everything is perfect right now, just the way it is, we are no longer a victim of circumstances. When we are empowered to live without apology we no longer have to try to change and control external events. When we have unconditional love for our true selves we no longer dedicate our lives to the pursuit of an impossible goal in order to avoid facing up to the messiness of living.
When I stopped dieting I realised my relationship was broken and my career no longer stimulated me. I figured out that I wasn’t perfect and I was never going to be. I decided to no longer give a shit about fixing myself and everyone/everything else. I didn’t need to change the world — I just needed to change how I saw it.
It’s far simpler to cover your feet with leather.
Tell me what changed on the inside when you decided to stop dieting to control everything on the outside?→ photo : Nesher Guy