Healthy Mind Before Zen Mind


I was so deeply convinced I knew myself and had a healthy mind, and was gifted with a mind bright enough to intellectualize my way through my own delusion for years.  It wasn’t until I was in a place I never dreamed I would be; I found myself in such continual pain because of an emotionally abusive relationship I was engaged in, that I woke up one day simply wanting to find a way to make the pain go away.  My options were very seriously considered suicide, or to try to find help through some sort of psychological counseling.

I had no reference point and knew very little about the world of psychiatrists and psychologists.  I looked up a few psychiatrists, who were very intent on prescribing me medication, without even considering the possibility that I may have instead been in some sort of spiritual crisis.  I spent several years trying every kind of anti-depressent medication out there, until I realized that none of it was addressing the underlying issue that I was incapable of seeing, but knew existed.  After all, my life looked great from the outside; I was a successful record producer, living a life most only get to dream of living, touring with bands, getting interviewed, and meeting the rocks stars I grew up admiring.  Eek.

I finally found my way to a psychologist.  I had initially resisted looking up psychologists because my emotional abuser was a psychiatrist, who had always dismissed psychologists as second rate hacks because they didn’t have any kind of medical degree as psychiatrists have.  Little did I know that it was a psychologist and therapy.

I’m not saying that we all need therapy, but I am saying that it certainly couldn’t hurt, no matter how healthy any of us think we are.  At minimum, it’s easy to book an initial session, to get feedback on how we interact with the outside world.  If you’re feeling quietly desperate, that you’re just not as happy as you had expected or wished you might be, if you find yourself frustrated or angry more often than you’d like but can’t find any reason why.  If you bury those feelings of disconnection under rationalizations, telling yourself that we can’t always get what we want, and that you need to learn to love what you have; you’re living from the outside in and not the inside out.

While we’re living from the outside in instead of the inside out, we will never have a healthy mind.  Without a healthy mind as a starting point, we will never recognize our own Buddha Nature, we will never recognize our own Enlightenment, no matter how much we think we “get it” or have found it.

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