Mary Corning Grief is a conflict

Grief is a conflict between what we want and what is

Grief is a conflict between what we want and what is.”
Perfect Practice

The conflict between what is and our desires for change is a daily ritual. From the mundane to the extreme this practice of resistance can rob any lifetime of its bliss. It can and often does become a habitual process.

No one taught us another way. Even with good intentions, clichés like, “This too shall pass” or “Tomorrow is another day” landed in the intellect like a grain of sand amidst a deluge of feeling helpless.

Grief left unattended becomes a validation of this conditioning. Yet with a subtle and simple shift we can return to the freedom of our essential nature.

We can experience a sense of loss without getting lost in it.

To accept without thought is a practice of the heart. All conflicts are of the mind. The mind with its beliefs, expectations and judgments set us up for grief. We do not know the grander of life through its limited veil.

Can we conceive of the endlessness of galaxies or even realize the simple timing of a bud to blossom? We do not know what we do not know and so it is without us.

When we let go of thinking our way through life and begin to live spontaneously we see with a much broader perspective. And perhaps most important of all, we can begin to let go of taking each life event so personally.

I remember one time in my life, just after my sister had committed suicide. It was an awful time of helplessness and grief. And while I was making my way through all the multitude of arrangements, I somehow managed my life. I continued to work and take care of my farm.

Then the day after the memorial service, that I hosted at my home, my best friend of 25 years called me and ended our relationship permanently. She simply said she was done.

Up to that point I thought I had managed my grief. But this phone call dropped me to my knees. It wasn’t that the loss of this person was so great, it was that I TOOK IT PERSONALLY!

The idea that I had done something wrong, or that she cared so little for my compromised state was much worse than the absolute tragedy of my sister’s death.

My mind took me for a grief ride that lasted 3 years. All because I had a strong opinion of this person‘s negative opinion of me. To this day it was one of the most impactful lessons that brought me peace.

I think it’s too great a burden to try to achieve peace of mind. Mind does not know peace without war.

I knew that I wanted a feeling of peace. But I was still of the mind-set that I had to fight to get it.
Perfect Practice

Eventually I found solace and freedom in my heart. Only in acceptance of what is and without the advantage of knowing why, was I freed from that debilitating conflict.

Empirical knowledge is knowledge that comes through experience. I have often said that I have a little tolerance for pain. And this has been my greatest asset. I won’t settle for less than freedom. And if a thought has me plagued by self-judgment or grief, I go into it with my heart leading the way.

The heart is a consistent state of grace. The heart is love. It’s as if I have a God-self that walks with me through every storm.

Conflict requires duality.

Duality lives in the mind. This is necessary for the intellectual adventure that we are on. We need to differentiate night and day, north and south, right and wrong and so on. I am not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The intellect has its place in my life. But it does not run my life. My thoughts come and go and it is up to me to be sure they do not leave a trail of misery behind them.

Awareness is neutral.

Awareness is one, very subtle and simple shift behind thought. It is as if it is the eyes behind the veil. Thoughts fluctuate. Beliefs change. As does everything in the physical world.

Awareness is constant.

This is the practice that frees the soul from the bondage of the mind. I know of no better way to live. Masters, profits, poets, and sages from all the ages have shared such mastery as this.

It is not just for those “other people”. Each and every one of us has the opportunity.
It simply takes practice…
Perfect Practice.
What could be more perfect, than neutral?

Awareness is always here.
We are always aware.
There is no scarcity in this.


If this blog resonates with you, please consider reading my book Perfect Practice. You can read an excerpt from the book HERE.

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