Little problems?

“Even though the problems you have in your everyday life are small, unless you know how to solve them, you will have big difficulties.”   This is a quote from Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in Not Always So. In my experience every one of us is prone to denying our own foolishness.  We all have behaviors and patterns we consider to be trivial,  too small to matter, but that signal larger habit patterns.  I don’t think we can see all of them, but we can spot some of them and we can work on them.  We can find one loose hanging thread, give it a good tug and see if it’s connected to a larger fabric of difficulties.

And when we do, our practice doesn’t require an elaborate intervention.  Only to investigate.  Not to judge or turn away.  Just to turn on the baby blue spotlight of attention and keep it turned on.    There is a deep teaching that “all defilements are self-liberating in the great space of awareness.”    The trick is to develop the heart to keep looking despite habits of denial and aversion, to keep widening and deepening awareness, allowing it to become this great space.  Practice can’t find and fix everything, but the power of sustained awareness to clarify, dissolve, and heal is remarkable.