An Obstruction We Need to Work Through

Soryu Forall, Guiding Teacher of Mindfulness Education at the Center for Mindful Learning in Vermont, from Buddhist Geeks 

“A labyrinth takes you all over the page before it allows you to get to the center, but the way you get all over the page — or of course walking, it could be a field or a room -- but I’m just imagining it on a page  sometimes you can draw yourself through a labyrinth with your finger. It seems as if the ostensible purpose of that structure is to get you to the center of the page.

But the truth is, if you want to get to the center of the page, you wouldn’t have a structure. You just go to the center. Or the center of the room. Just walk to the center of the room. But the significance of the labyrinth is that it forces you  in order to get to the center  to go around the entire space. And familiarity with the entire path is very important when we’re walking a path.

So if we skip around from technique to technique, sometimes the reason we’re having so much difficulty is not that there’s something wrong with the technique, it’s that the technique has skillfully brought us to an obstruction in our own minds which we now need to work through. If we wanted to, we could change techniques and quickly get to the center of the room. But we don’t notice, often, that we’re subtly avoiding a corner of the room that we don’t really want to go to. And so to have a path that we stay on forces us to come to terms with that.”

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