I don't mind what happens

Not minding what happens

EDITOR’S NOTE: This essay was originally posted on June 13, 2011

I’m currently reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, and I am quite enthralled by it.  I am stuck on one particular phrase:  “I don’t mind what happens.”  Here is the context:

J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, spoke and traveled almost continuously all over the world for more than fifty years attempting to convey through words… that which is beyond words.

At one of his talks in the later part of his life, he surprised his audience by asking, “Do you want to know my secret?”

Everyone became very alert.  Many people in the audience had been coming to listen to him for twenty or thirty years and still failed to grasp the essence of his teaching.  Finally, after all these years, the master would give them the key to understanding.  “This is my secret,” he said.  “I don’t mind what happens.”

“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle

Think about that for a moment.

Don’t we spend a lot of emotional energy reacting to things?  If someone says something we don’t like, we get angry or hurt.  If things don’t go our way, we expend a lot of emotional energy even though our emotions don’t change the outcome.

What if we took every event with a grain of salt?  What if we didn’t let things bother us?

Believe me when I say that this is easier said than done!  I would very much like to master this skill, but it involves an acute awareness of yourself.

You have to be able to catch yourself before you react, but reactions happen really quickly.  I am determined to keep practicing until I improve this skill.

It is especially hard in matters of the heart that are very emotional.  When we feel hurt by someone we love, it tends to be more intense.

Not minding what happens also counts for positive events. Maybe we should not become so attached to positive outcomes as well. That is how expectations form and disappointment happens.

If we simply accept each thing that happens in the present with a sense of interest but non-attachment, our emotional state would be more calm and manageable. Does that mean we don’t get excited about things? Of course not. It just means that we don’t use these external events as a barometer for our emotional state.