Dialogue with Jing Shen

“Look at it,” Jing Shen said.

“Don’t turn away, and don’t grab hold of it. Just look. What do you see?”

“Jealousy,” I replied, with a set jaw and creased brow. “I’m jealous of their friendship. I wish that’s what we had. But, she doesn’t need me.”

“How does that feel?”

“It hurts.”

“Is there tension in the body?”


“The body wears our thoughts and feelings, to the point that we can eventually see our mental habits on our skin, in our posture. The bent back, the line across the forehead, the creases near the top of the nose. All of these tell a story. Straighten up. Relax. Breathe. Focus. Wait.

“Now, where is the jealousy?”


“What is there?”

“Warmth, calm… love.”

“Look at that, too. But don’t grab it, and don’t push it. Let it be, let the mind express itself, let the process unfold. You don’t have to do anything, John. Ignorance, confusion, and fixation, these are just the results of us tampering with our own nature, with our own enlightenment. Be mindful of when you’re stuck and when you’re not, of when you’re meddling with your mind and when you’re not, and you’ll be fine.”

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