The Ties that Bind Us

knotEveryone has internal stores of pain, anger and frustration caused by our judgments toward others who have been unkind or insulting to us. Taking these slights personally causes internal formations that are like ropes that bind us and obstruct our freedom.

If we don’t know how to cut these internal ropes and transform them, a knot will form that tightens every time that we meet someone who is unkind or insulting. Over time, the knot begins to crystallize into a hard lump of irritation. We might try drugs, alcohol or mental diversions to relieve the pain of these irritations. This complicates the issue, causing ropes and knots of addiction.

But through mindfulness, we can find these knots, and through meditation we can experience transformation by untying them.

Be aware that formations caused by pleasure can cause suffering and lost freedom.

The pleasure of falling in love is a huge internal formation. When falling in love we are not free – we can all think only of our beloved – we cannot study, we cannot work, we think only of the object of our love. When falling in love becomes an internal knot we become unstable.

When we taste, hear, or see something pleasant, then that pleasure can become a strong internal knot. When the object of pleasure disappears, we miss it, we search for it, expending much time and energy to re-experience it.

If we consume alcohol, go to the casino, view pornography or violence, and begin to like it, the liking starts an internal formation in the body, in the mind, due to the sensations caused. We begin to look for more of the substance or act, and become very anxious when we see it running out or it is gone. We are not even finished with the first one, and already we are thinking of ways to get more. The knot crystallizes.

Pleasant or unpleasant, internal formations remove our liberty.

The first step in untying the knots is admitting we have them.

Prayer and Meditation can help us accept how they were caused.

Mindfulness can prevent new knots from forming.

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