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Struggle and Spirituality

still lake and mountain
Episode No. 100

What role does struggle play in spiritual practice? What would life be like if we stopped struggling? A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

First Words from Podcast

Today I want to talk about struggle. Everybody in this room, including me, has some degree of constant struggle going on. A lot of it’s unconscious. Some of it’s not.

When we feel we’re working with problems or trying to get something done, we can feel that sense of struggle. But underneath that is a constant sense of struggle—a constant effort to make something happen, or stop something from happening, or change something, or have a certain outcome that we want, or simply the sense of getting through our lives.

There is a constant underlying sense of trying to do something with reality, with our existence. And even when we’re not doing anything there’s that feeling. Everybody here can go inside right now and identify that feeling of struggle. It’s happening now even though we’re not doing anything except sitting here.

The practice that we do, particularly the practice of non-conceptual meditation, is to drop all struggle. That’s the practice really, to drop all struggle, all effort, and just enter into presence. There’s a certain way in which you can have an experience of presence, and even if you can’t remain in it, you can understand this: that struggle is completely unnecessary.

The idea that we have to do something with reality, that we have to do something about the problem of our existence or the problem of our lives—those kinds of approaches to life, which is all of our approach—all of that is totally unnecessary. There’s not one speck of necessity to any of it.

We could be living simply being here in presence, responding naturally to what is in this moment. We could just live like that.