How can there be any alternatives,
when every thought and idea leads on to the next
until we no longer know where or how we began?

If we try to break out of a well-established pattern,
what internal dialogues do we hear?

“You can’t get out-there’s no way out.
There’s nothing you can do.”

“It’s so damn discouraging –
I never get what I want. I’m so depressed.
There must be another way.”

“No way. There’s no way. It’s all set up this way.
Nothing will change it.
You have to keep on going like this –
you have no choice.”

“Can it really be true?”

“Oh yes – it’s always been this way.”

“Then there is nothing I can do.
I have to stay the way I am because there is no other choice.
Yes, this is all I know; this is all I can do.
Especially after twenty years –
why think of changing now?”

“Oh yes, keep it up. I strongly recommend it.”

Holding tightly to discouragement, confusion, and disappointment,
we remain loyal to our part in the play,
an innocent victim sentenced to frustration and dissatisfaction.

How obedient we are!

Each day we turn up for work,
ready for the next episode.

No matter what comes our way, we play our part:
Our entrance cue is “I want;”
our exit line is an expression of frustration and pain.

Obligated to our own action,
we keep going on –
after all, having put this much into it,
could we just walk away?

Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
Knowledge of Freedom


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