We live in a culture where success, and even life itself, is defined as a struggle. How can we change this? A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi
Podcast First Words
Student: So my question is, I just wanted to hear you riff on struggle versus entanglement, I guess.
Shambhavi: As I’ve said so many times, we just live in a culture that defines the proper attitude towards life as being one of struggle. You never get anything unless you struggle. You never get anywhere unless you struggle. People are already working on their relationships after they’ve been in them for five minutes.
We have to ask ourselves, when do we stop working on things? When do we stop struggling? We also have to think of the natural state. The feeling tone of the natural state, let’s say, is completely absent of struggle. That should give us a clue.
If any of us should be so lucky as to know people who have a good degree of realization, we know that their level of struggle with things goes down. We should get a clue that struggle is a part of our karmic patterning. It’s not the natural, relaxed, proper orientation to life.
And I can tell you that my experience in relationships of all kinds is that when people stop struggling and just improvise together in a graceful devotional way, that is to me the most wonderful and non-boring kind of relationship. As a teacher, I can tell you that watching everyone struggle so much and including my own struggly-ness ultimately is very, very boring.
So in the beginning maybe, or for some period of time or some lifetime, struggle seems interesting. Because we like to have problems, we’ve defined our life as a series of problem-solving events. We like complications. We like entanglements. It gives our minds and our energy and our bodies something to do. And we’re afraid, we’re terrified, of the experience of emptiness, the experience of shunya, the experience of just letting go and relaxing.