problems in the mind


“All supposed problems are of the mind.
What is mind?
Mind is a collection of thoughts.
Where are the problems when they are not thought about?”

“The most efficient means to
destroy any problem is to
ignore the problem.
In the absence of the energy
required to sustain it,
it withers and dies.”

“When clarity is present there are no problems.
Why rely on the mind to provide the solution?
It is the mind that birthed the problem.”

Wu Hsin

These quotes from Wu Hsin really got me pondering today. I noticed how my initial thought was to dismiss the second perspective. After all, ignoring problems will not bring about solutions … It also brought up a core belief of mine that not addressing problems leads to passivity, inaction and fatalism. Now there’s a judgment for you…

It seems to be human nature to find problems and then we are driven to fix them. It is the cornerstone of most western cultures. Is this simply a habit of our thinking?

On the other hand, why would we want to efficiently destroy a problem. A problem is an obstacle that our thinking has created. Is the answer in its destruction? As the Zen proverb goes “The Obstacle is the Way”.

There is an opportunity for new kind of mindful awareness when we come across problems.

As long as we are externally focused we will come across problems and have a need to try to resolve them. When we turn our attention inwards to find clarity in the presence within, thoughts fade away.

What if we were to take Wu Hsin’s approach?

How would the world around us be different … and how we would be in it?

Just pondering ๐Ÿ’›

32 comments on “* Pondering – Problems and Mind

  1. I, too, have been “pondering” similarly, in particular the compassionate response. To respond compassionately comes from within, our inner resolve, which strips away the emotion (reaction) and leaves the experience of the moment. If we drop the energy of emotion is the experience without thought? As I say, I ponder. Thanks, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate this ponder Karen. ๐Ÿ’› I also wonder if it is the dropping of energy of the reactive emotion and allowing its energy to transform into something softer and more expansive which is beyond thought.
      Its hard to put into words, the experience that goes beyond them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is an interesting point. I have been pondering that, too.

    I found that staying in inner peace, even if there are situations that we call problems, does not mean that there will not be any action.
    So, to me “ignoring the problem” does not always mean that I don’t do anything about it. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes I don’t do anything about it. But sometimes I do something about it.

    Of course, there can be action when we are at inner peace. And it can be very appropriate action. Sometimes it can be very unusual, surprising action which comes from inner guidance which can be heard clearly.

    For me, it all comes down to staying peaceful inside even if shit hits the fan – and then turn inside and ask “Now what ?” . And wait for an answer.

    And the answer will be unique each time.
    Sometimes it will call for a fearless action that I would previously have thought of as unpolite and socially unacceptable.
    Sometimes it will be an action of caution (of which I would have previously thought that this must the egoic voice of fear).
    Sometimes it will be something very unusual .
    Or sometimes it will be very common sense.
    Sometimes it will be just “keep calm and carry on”.

    Thanks for sharing your food for thought with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Karin for sharing your ponderings here.๐Ÿ’›
      To experience Inner peace is beyond thought, yet our brains still yearn to understand and explain it, and make choices…. and yes take action. I love your heightened awareness of intuition and inner wisdom!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I expect it depends on the “problem.” If I am being eaten by a tiger, that’s an immediate danger that requires an immediate solution.

    “Run, Forest, Run.”

    If “they” don’t approve of my life choices, that’s a problem safely ignored.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Run Forest Run! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yep – not a mind bending problem, but an amygdala hijack for our biological survival.
      Other problems, like the impressions of others can be safely ignored.


  4. Very interesting Val. Sometimes our mind creates promblems by worry, anxiety etc, where it would be better to try to se possibilities instead.
    Sometimes problems disappear, if we give them a little time and patience.
    Other times it feels necessary to react to a problem and find a solution now.
    There are many ways to look at this Val.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Irene. Thank you for sharing your perspective. “problems ” are complex … and it seems the more complex they are, the more they are of our own mind’s creation, especially if it about worry of the unknown.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Problems and challenges differ, require different solutions; but always, clarity is what brings us resolve and peace. Lovely pondering, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jet for this sharing. Clarity is always needed.
      It’s interesting that in a spiritual context, clarity goes beyond getting clear in our thoughts. It means clear understanding that we are part of a bigger whole and consciousness or divine entity. When we have this kind of clarity then we see the world as one… and worry and fear dissipate.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting. Just this morning a dear friend was very upset. She made an error in purchasing airline tickets. She has two solutions. Instead of selecting one and proceeding with life she has spent the last 24 hours chastising herself in a deep pit. As I listened to her (and she was crying she was so upset), I reiterated her choices. She already knew that but preferred to stew. Her obstacle will either give her two extra days at a nice hotel with a bar pool or she can change the ticket day and pay the penalty. Not something to flagellate yourself about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate, this is such a good example of creating problems and suffering with our thoughts. Sometimes our beliefs do get in the way of seeing things more objectively and clearly. Steeping back from the emotional drama and being able to be an observer of ourselves is a powerful step to take.
      Thank you! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is the premise of law of attraction. That which is like unto itself is drawn. When we focus on problems we are actually drawing the very nature of them into ourselves and giving them life and energy. It’s a basic principle of physics. Wherever our attention goes we place energy and wherever energy is everything else is drawn.

    As you noted to not focus on problems feels totally counter intuitive for our hardwired brains. Consider this Buddhist teaching: To turn your back on suffering you are giving it permission to exist. That is a pretty powerful statement.

    It’s helped me to realize that I am the focuser. If I take my focus off the problem I have allowed other energy to lay claim to that situation or event or person that is far more powerful than myself to heal it. That by removing our “problem-focus mind” from the problem, we have allowed “spirit-focused mind” which is always healing and solution to lay claim to it. Daily I work at letting go of my “efforting” the answers. We often say we want more freedom and less suffering but most of us sit on top of our problems holding them down, all the while screaming they won’t leave. We believe solutions must come with effort and so we stare at things we wish to go away. Thus, they can never heal or leave.

    We have lived in a world utilizing our minds to focus upon problems for millennium upon millennium. Maybe it’s time we shifted our gears and tried something new. Letting them go so that they have the chance, without our interference, to find the solutions they were destined for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this perspective Noelle, of embracing ourselves as energetic beings. It creates a bigger picture and shifts our thinking away from thinking (if that’s possible!) into sensing and trusting in something bigger than ourselves. In this realm anything is possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a challenging pondering, Val. I believe many problems are created entirely by the mind, but others, like Nancy points out, are seen by the eyes or heard by the ears. I think strategies need to adapt to this variety ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Tiny., Great point. Looking through the lens of neuroscience, different parts of our brains are involved. A life threatening challenge is identified in our amygdala and sends emergency messages through the system. The higher functioning parts of our brain can also create the same reaction by our thinking. Whether it is an external threat or an internal “problem” the body and mind react in the same way.
      The key is to become aware and identify the difference. Sometimes it isn’t easy to differentiate the stick from the snake on the path. Or to believe what we are being told in the news about imminent disaster!


  9. Love your pondering thoughts Val
    I think problems often present themselves to help teach us as we move through our Life experience.. We may not appreciate the lesson while going through our particular problem.. But in hindsight as I look back through out all of my own challenges, I see how there were Gifts within them all ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wishing you a Blessed week..
    Hugs Sue xxx โค

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The “problematic” aspect of a situation may be a creation of our mind. When it’s the right time to deal with a problem, it’s not so much a problem as an imperative. Until then . . . tackle what is most essential before you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The key is focusing on solutions, rather than problems.


    • I like this practical approach Elizabeth. It reminds me of a great boss I once had.
      What Wu Hsin may be saying is that there wouldn’t be any need for solutions if we didn’t come up with problems in the first place. What if there were no such thing as problems, and everything was just as it needed to be…


      • Yes! Both ideas intersect. Instead of seeing the flood in the basement as a problem and going into a blind panic, turn off the tap, call a plumber or at least get out of the house.
        I read a story (I must hunt it down so I can reference it) where a trainee monk went off in search of a quiet place with no problems so he could sit, meditate and be at peace. So he went to a faraway land and discovered the local people still had problems. So he went farther afield to an island off the coast of the faraway land. And there were still problems. Then he went to the top of the mountain of that island near the faraway land. And there were still problems.And so on. Then he realized there would always be problems. And the moral of the story is???
        Look for solutions, not problems.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. “It is the mind that birthed the problem.โ€ That is the truth Val, always the mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reena Davis

    That’s a really interesting perspective. I guess I’m of the mind that problems are created in the mind in that situations etc aren’t really ‘problems’ but learning and growth opportunities. I don’t ignore those – they’re vital!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. LOL, like you, I automatically dismissed the second part, and as soon as I realized it, I made myself go back and read it again, and then yet again, to give my brain time to process it – and then I could move forward! I took away that there are times I create my own problems, my own drama, and if I could just let go, then there wouldn’t be a problem any more. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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