A few years ago, I raised my hand in Buddhist philosophy class and announced to my Korean professor who’d been reading convoluted passages of Buddhist texts. “I’m confused.”
He paused, smiled, content. “It means you’re learning very much,” he said with his heavy, halting accent.
This left me in an even deeper state of confusion. I puzzled over his response. All of my professors, students, friends – everyone had answers. Answers about the French Revolution, about which rock bands ruled and the best places to find pizza. But years later this is the one lesson that remained with me.
When I feel anxious, uncomfortable and yes, confused, about what I’m doing or where I’m going those profound words of wisdom pop up again and again. “You’re learning very much.”
In reflections, I’ve determined that the comfortable mind, the one that returns again and again to the same actions and reactions is like a trained animal. It goes through the motions that it knows. But when faced with something new, it must adapt. It crawls out of the comfort zone, out of the usual blissful numbness of knowing into that dark gray area of uncertainty.
“How can I return to the comfortable equilibrium?” I ask. Change forces the mind to explore new territory and find a new approach. Confusion is the result of not knowing – and looking for an answer.
I like allowing the space of not knowing the answers and now recognize my state of confusion as a state of learning. As I continue to write and work through my book, I’m moving into a new state, the one of Finish, the State of Completion. What a blissful place to arrive it – and rest – if only for a little while.
Copyright: Debra Moffitt, 2008 www.debramoffitt.com