I was talking to a client the other day, and she mentioned the word hindrances, and I had an insight. In Buddhism, they talk about the 5 Hindrances that impede one’s path to enlightenment.
1.Sensual desire (kāmacchanda): Craving for pleasure to the senses.
2. Anger or ill-will (byāpāda, vyāpāda): Feelings of malice directed toward others.
3. Sloth-torpor or boredom (thīna-middha): Half-hearted action with little or no concentration.
4. Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): The inability to calm the mind.
5. Doubt (vicikicchā): Lack of conviction or trust.
I think that “hindrance” might be a better word than “fear” to describe this 100 Day challenge I have embarked on. What keeps me from moving toward what I really want is something I am curious about everyday. What keeps me stuck in my status quo/comfort zone? I would say that on any given day or moment I could easily point to one of these hindrances and find the answer.
Certainly, most of the time it is doubt that turns into fear. But there are days when I would rather have the short-term pleasure vs. the long term goal. Or find that my lack of ability to move forward is based on an old story line of resentment and thus I will not move forward so I can “show them.” And boredom is a HUGE reason for filling up my mind and body with crap I don’t want and thus keeping me off track. And the inability to calm the mind often feeds my fears.
But then again, ideally what this challenge is about is DOING something that counteracts the hindrances, not analyzing them. So really, it is BUSTING THROUGH 100 Hindrances in 100 Days.
Yesterday I went to a dinner party, and someone was talking about the world through the filter of conspiracy theories. I normally just shut down and ignore these theories because they either make me depressed or enraged. No middle ground. But last night, I stayed with the person and just got curious – about them and how it feels to them to believe in such a thing. It felt risky to take this tact, and yet deeply fulfilling in the end because the discussion didn’t become about truth or who is right, but about what it means to live in a world where it might be true.
Today – stepping through my torpor and doubt and getting back to the page. For a writer, everyday is a scary leap of faith into the unknown. Today is no different.